Film Friday Reflection: Jojo Rabbit

At one point in this satirical tale set in war-torn Germany, Jojo’s mother embarrasses him by jumping on a wall and dancing. She has of course no right to do this, partly because she is with her son who would rather she just behave properly in public, and mostly because they are losing the war and life is very precarious indeed. But she tells Jojo that people dance because they are free. Her dancing expresses her view on life. Even in dire circumstances she has hope. Later Jojo will be found dancing too. It seems that for his mother freedom is not so much about the tyranny of the situation she finds herself in, but her approach to life. Her worldview. And she is concerned to pass that on, not only to Jojo but to others too. At risk to her own safety and wellbeing. Jesus spoke of the truth that can set us free, and he was living in a time of oppression too. His friends were desperate to rid themselves of the chokehold the Romans had over them, but for Jesus freedom was about something else. Having spoken of the freedom truth could bring he then described himself as being the truth. He was hoping his friends would join the dots and make the connection. Jesus lived free, able to respond to situations and people with open hands. And like Jojo’s mum, he was willing to risk everything to bring this freedom to others.

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  1. Mark Roques says:

    Great to read this Dave. This sounds like a great film. I would add that freedom in its true sense is to be set free from the power of sin so that we can (once again) faithfully image God by loving our neighbours. I have been working on the French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre who talked a lot about freedom. Tragically he spent a lot of his time seducing young girls. He was strongly addicted to smoking, drugs and huge amounts of alcohol. This kind of existentialist ‘freedom’ is really a form of slavery. Thanks for this posting Dave.

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