06-24 November 2019



Opening Night Film / Centerpiece Film / Closing Ni
Taika Waititi

United States

2018 / 108’ / Hawaii Premiere / English

During the second world war, lonely German boy Jojo "Rabbit" Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) has his worldview turned upside down when he discovers that his single mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie from LEAVE NO TRACE) in their attic. Aided only by his imaginary friend in the form of an idiotic version of Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi, who also wrote and directed the film), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism. 
HIFF favorite and PIC Trailblazer Award recipient Waititi returns to HIFF after an illustrious career as New Zealand’s go-to indie director with Maori-centric classics like EAGLE VS SHARK, BOY, and WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (HIFF 2013 Audience Award Winner). He would eventually matriculate into the Hollywood mainstream with a succession of blockbuster smash hits from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Disney with THOR: RAGNAROK, as well as an episode of the upcoming Disney + series THE MANDALORIAN. At the time of this writing, Waititi is returning to his Pacific roots, writing and directing a feature based on the American Samoan soccer team (think Samoan COOL RUNNINGS) to be shot entirely on Oahu.
With JOJO RABBIT, this film seals the deal that Waititi’s comedic talents knows no bounds or boundaries, tapping into his Jewish side to tackle a subject matter that explores the past and holds up a mirror at us in these truly turbulent times. Waititi’s oeuvre is definitely maturing into a career that entertains, enlightens and incites discussion, channeling Monty Python and Mel Brooks in what is dubbed as “an anti-war satire,” walking a precarious line of mining absolute absurdity while shining a light on Nazi fascism and groupthink, much like major neo-conservative movements that are undermining democratic societies around the world. JOJO RABBIT has something to say and comedy brings these issues to the forefront.

-Anderson Le

Thursday 7 19:00 - 21:28Regal Dole Cannery 9 add Filmmaker in Attendance
RUSH (Stand-by Line)
When all tickets for a screening have been issued, standby lines are formed 1 hour prior to show time, tickets sold for $10 cash if seating is avalible.
DirectorTaika Waititi.
CastRoman Griffin Davis, Thomasin Mckenzie, Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant and Alfie Allen.
ScreenplayTaika Waititi.
CinematographerMihai Malaimare Jr..
Production designerRa Vincent.
EditorTom Eagles.
MusicMichael Giacchino.
SoundAi-Ling Lee.
ProductionFox Searchlight Pictures, in Association with TSG ENTERTAINMENT and A DEFENDER and PIKI FILMS Production .
DistributorFox Searchlight Pictures.

Tobias Poppe - Sound Engineer

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