Jojo Rabbit Nice Nazi

Jojo Rabbit and the Nice Nazi

Much ink has been spilled on director Taika Waititi's portrayal of Hitler in his Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit, which just won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Some have praised Waititi's take on the genocidal ruler, saying that his light and humorous version of the dictator provides useful social commentary on how we approach political tyrants. Others were not impressed, arguing that the director’s message failed to dig into the horrors of the Nazi regime and its leader. Less attention, however, has been paid to Sam Rockwell's Captain Klenzendorf, a murderous Hitler Youth camp director with a strong hatred of Jews. Throughout the film, Klenzendorf takes a liking to Jojo, serving as a surrogate father figure to the young boy’s imaginary Hitler. When he discovers that Jojo is hiding Elsa, a young Jewish woman, in...

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A Jew Named Oscar?

Oscar nominations were announced yesterday, and Jews and Jewish-themed movies, as you might expect, were among the honorees. Woody Allen (yes, he's Jewish!) racked up four nominations for "Midnight in Paris" (though nothing for Adrien Brody, whose version of Salvador Dali is the only way we want to imagine the artist); "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close", based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, is up for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor; Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" got a nod for Best Picture, among other nominations (We sneaked into this movie for five minutes before "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and, you know, it's "War Horse."); Jonah Hill is up for Best Supporting Actor (making up for the "Superbad" snub, natch); and in the Foreign Language category, office favorite "Footnote" from Israel (a Talmudic thriller? Yes,...

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Hollywood, Oscars and the Jews

By Sophie Taylor This morning's Oscar nominations did no favors to anyone hoping to dispel the myth that Jews control Hollywood. In the nine most prominent categories, all but one (supporting actor) included at least one Jewish Hollywood player; Jews represented nearly a quarter of the nominees in those categories. The idea that Jews run Hollywood is as popular as the notion that they control finance or the media.  After CNN's Rick Sanchez made comments in October implying that Jews control the media, Slate's Brian Palmer decided to look into Sanchez' claims and discovered that while none of the major news stations are Jewish-owned, Hollywood is, in fact, heavily Jewish—forty-five percent of The Guardian's "Top Twenty Directors of All Time" are Jewish. Of course, having a heavy presence in an industry is a far cry from...

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