[Video Interview] ‘JOJO RABBIT’ star Thomasin McKenzie on film’s accessible approach to Holocaust story


Preston Barta // Features Editor

Opening this weekend is the “anti-hate war satire” Jojo Rabbit, written and directed by Taika Waititi (Thor Ragnarok, What We Do in the Shadows). 

The film follows a young German boy (newcomer Roman Griffin Davis) in Hitler’s army who finds out his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their home. It’s exactly the kind of absurdist humor that generally accompanies Waititi’s films, but here (like his last film, The Hunt for the Wilderpeople) there is also an incredible amount of heart. While it doesn’t shy away from the reality of the time period, it does manage to present a view that families can experience together and learn from.

Fresh Fiction film critic Preston Barta recently sat down with actor Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace and Edgar Wright’s upcoming film Last Night in Soho) to talk about Jojo Rabbit. In the below video, we discuss the film’s accessible approach to history and what audiences can learn from this new vision of the past.

JOJO RABBIT opens nationwide on Friday, November 1.

About author

Preston Barta

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.