Magazine article Variety

'Jojo Rabbit' Presents a Child's View of World War 11 Germany

Magazine article Variety

'Jojo Rabbit' Presents a Child's View of World War 11 Germany

Article excerpt

WHEN PICTURING NAZI GERMANY during World War II, most people think of black-and-white or sepia-toned images of drab cities. For the cinematographer and production designer of "Jojo Rabbit," a film set squarely in that time and place, it became clear that the color palette of the era was far more varied than they could have imagined.

As preparation for shooting Taika Waititi's satire, adapted from Christine Leunens' book "Caging Skies," cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. and production designer Ra Vincent researched the era using photos and footage that had been restored to reveal the colors of the period.

"The primary goal was to show environments from a child's point of view that had a playful nature to them, instead of an adult point of view," says Vincent. "What the locations department came back with were these little cute Czech villages that were right on the German border. They pretty much exist the way they were, and we realized that the 1930s and 1940s in Germany were quite expressive. You see it in the palette - that it wasn't all kind of dusty and dirty. It was a time for great expression in art and design."

Vincent and Malaimare had offices next to each other during production and soon began talking with Waititi about the rich colors - reds, especially, but other hues too - that they wanted to bring into the picture. The brighter shades furthered the perspective of seeing Nazi Germany through the eyes of a child.

Filmmakers wanted to set up Jojo's house as a kind of sanctuary and safe space where he feels protected and close to his mother. …

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