Taika Waititi’s black comedy about the Hitler Jugend fills a generation gap for audiences who missed Swing Kids, and think they’re immune to the social ills peddled by the likes of Adolf Hitler. But Jojo Rabbit is so infectiously funny, one doesn’t necessarily think about the implications when soaking in the drama, and some critics even claimed it wasn’t dark enough for a topical film, as if there were some things you can’t make fun of without apologizing in sincerest earnest. I don’t think those critics have heard of holocaust humor, the zany stripe of gallows humor known only to holocaust survivors (and those they share their laughter with).
This poem is a twisted take on the 54ths Psalm, in Jojo’s voice, when he calls on his imaginary friend (Hitler himself, played by director Taika Waititi himself), to rid his home of an intruder whom his mother has stowed away in the crawlspace without telling him.
Heil Hitler! We call on our leader for rescue,
his mighty S.S. will come take up our cause.
Dear Adolph, I know you are near in my prayers,
can’t you hear me today when I shout out your name?
A stranger is crouching right here in our attic
and threatens to kill us if I say a word.
She says she’s a cannibal, even a Jew.
But look – I know Hitler’s about to save me,
our leader will stick up for us and our kind.
He will get even with all my assailants.
Demolish their inhuman ways with the truth!
I’ll do my part as a spy, an observer.
“Heil Hitler!” is my manifesto, my cause.
From the worst kind of boredom, my Adolph saved me,
and from him my enemies run in defeat.