Writer director Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, Jojo Rabbit, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.
London Review of Books
New Left Review
The New Republic
We're under attack from climate change-and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII. It's not that global warming is like a world war. It is a world war. And we are losing. Defeating the Nazis required more than brave soldiers. It required a wholesale industrial retooling. In this war we're in-the war that physics is fighting hard, and that we aren't-winning slowly is the same as losing.
London Review of Books
In David Looseley's take on the iconic French chanteuse Edith Piaf, her notoriously elusive life story is rendered as cultural history, drawing out what Piaf meant - and still means - to France and to her wider audience. Looseley notes that her musical persona was highly and brilliantly constructed. She projected a stage mask of suffering that was all the more affecting because the audience saw there was deprivation behind it. With Piaf, you underwent her.
Insider Higher Ed
In the period between the world wars, Stefan Zweig was among the world's best-known authors. His books would soon fuel Nazi bonfires. Zweig held that humanity could no longer afford the belligerent nationalism that had led them into the Great War. Yet Zweig was struck dumb by post 1933 events. That failure, the reviewer says, was of imagination, not nerve. Against the Nazis' depredations, all the consummate writer and speaker could muster was nostalgia for a lost world.
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The story of the 872 day Nazi siege of Leningrad, the humans who survived it, and the more than one million who died, the story told in Shostakovich’s Seventh symphony, is one of humanity’s greatest and most heroic tales ever. Always Russia’s city of the arts and music, Leningrad is also a city of revolution. Daunted and desperate, the spirit of Leningrad’s residents is really the ultimate determinant of its survival. Shostakovich’s symphony rallied his fellow citizens.