The Holocaust through the Lenses- Schindler’s List v/s Jojo Rabbit
“Would anyone either Jew or non-Jew, understand this about me that I’m simply a young girl who badly in need of some rollicking fun”
Very few filmmakers have been audacious enough to put to the screens such historical atrocities with the intention of giving a glimpse of what life in those times would be like.
Two of the most discussed and well-received such movies are Schindler’s List (1993), directed by Steven Spielberg and Jojo Rabbit (2019), directed by Taika Waititi. The two films have an incomparable presentation but deal with the same idea- Nazi Germany and associated genocides.
While Schindler’s List depicts the entire holocaust without Hitler in any scene, Jojo Rabbit unabashedly showed a funny yet nasty Hitler who, in the end just a figment of Jojo’s imagination. Yes, we all grew up to learn that Hitler was a bad guy but this movie in no way is intending to whitewash him. He still remains the bad guy.
Schindler’s List leaves us all with remorse for the hardships and sufferings of those affected in the holocaust and hits us so deep that it can even make a lump of granite weep! And Jojo Rabbit? Well, I can promise you that you will leave the theatres with a smile.
While in Schindler’s List you hate the Nazis, in Jojo Rabbit you can’t help laughing at them. Both movies offer two different moods for the same happening. Can’t argue that fact that detailings are realistically captured more in Schindler’s List than Jojo Rabbit.
As we see Schindler’s List capturing the oppression and persecution of the Jews, we see in Jojo Rabbit how World War has chained the brains of the kids in Germany (the non-Jews). At the age where we expect them to play and learn, we see kids talking war, politics, and being trained to fight in the army.
However, both the movies end on the same note, a testament to another Ann Frank quote, “Despite everything, I still believe that people are good from the heart”. On one side we had Schindler, a member of Nazi Germany, who puts all his effort to rescue a good number of Jews from persecution and on the other side, we have Jojo, a member of Jungvolk (a preteen chapter of Hitler Youth) providing shelter to Elsa, a Jew his mother has been hiding in their home.
The remaining Jews expressing their gratitude to Schindler for his exorbitant generosity, and Jojo and Elsa dancing to the tunes of freedom, are both expressions of hope, the hope Ann Frank was mentioning about.
Image Courtesy: YouTube