“Wonderful”, “terrific” – that is what Mel Brooks thinks about “Jojo Rabbit”. He shared his thoughts on Taika’s latest movie in a conversation with USA Today recently. Here is the context,
Q: You’ve used comedy and satire to discuss serious topics, but it doesn’t come without risk. What reaction did you get in 1967 to “The Producers,” the satirifc film that features the “Springtime for Hitler” fictional musical?
Brooks: Maybe over a thousand rabbis wrote to me. I was very careful about writing back to everybody who wrote about (it) being in such terrible taste for a Jewish kid. And I said if we get on a soapbox and try to orate like Hitler, we lose because he sweeps the lowest common denominator in feelings and intelligence. But if we can humiliate him with comedy, we win. Funny always wins.
Q: Along those lines, have you seen “Jojo Rabbit,” a comedy in which a young boy in Nazi Germany fantasizes a buffoonish Adolf Hitler (director Taika Waititi) as his imaginary best friend?
Brooks: I loved it. It was a wonderful movie. Perfectly plausible that the kid would be seduced by this larger-than-life character.
Q: Did you find the depiction offensive, as some critics have?
Brooks: Not at all. I thought it was terrific. There’s always those people who walk the line strictly and those who dare to cross the line. I was one who crossed the line as far as making fun of Nazis. I think I’m going to send (Waititi) a note to tell him, “Good job. Well done.”
Read the full interview: Mel Brooks on his HBO special, Anne Bancroft’s films and the “terrific” ‘Jojo Rabbit’ by Bill Keveney, published Dec 13, 2019