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I watched the screening of JoJoRabbit, The director Taika Waititi gave a brief introduction about what inspired him to make the movie. It was something about a book which is a real-life story.

In the movie, there is a scene, where the SS Generals are searching peoples houses for Jews. The Jew pretends to be the kid's sister. One of the Officers finds out that she's not his sister and lets her go. Does anyone know why? Is it the same in the real-life story?

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First of all, the people that were searching the house were from Gestapo, not "German generals" - Gestapo was secret police that was tasked with controlling the population - "taking care" of people that were "undesirable" - political opponents, Jews, homosexuals etc.

Captain Klenzendorf, who helps Elsa and Jojo is just a soldier. At this stage, he is very disillusioned with the war and he wants to protect Jojo, a boy who just lost his mother - if you remember his earlier conversation, he knows that if Gestapo would take Elsa, they would also arrest Jojo.

But what is more important, he is most likely gay: You can see that he has a "ready to kiss" scene with his adjutant Finkel, he goes to fight wearing makeup and "fabulous" uniform. So he can sympathise with Elsa because he knows what it means to hide in fear of persecution and death.

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Despite being "oafish", Captain Klenzendorf knows that Germany will lose the war. He also has a soft spot for Jojo, which is reinforced at the end of the movie when he

sacrifices himself to save Jojo from the Russians.

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  • How do you know they were Russians and not Americans? – Luciano Mar 10 '20 at 15:29
  • @Luciano Have you seen the movie? It's been months since I have, myself, but Wikipedia also refers to them as Soviets. – Raj Mar 10 '20 at 15:31
  • I just watched it a few days ago. I didn't notice those specific soldiers were soviet, maybe because there are only US flags flying. – Luciano Mar 11 '20 at 11:15
  • I didn't notice the flags at all, I just remember the characters being more concerned about the Russians arriving than the Americans. Even if it were the Americans, I don't think that would change my answer. – Raj Mar 12 '20 at 12:30
  • Your answer is correct, I was just wondering if they were really soviets - were they fighting side by side with the americans? There were American flags but no Soviet flags, check the scenes after that. – Luciano Mar 12 '20 at 12:37
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I have seen theories that Captain K was (to a certain extent) part of the resistance against the Nazi Party. In his introduction scene, he has a paperclip attached to his belt (by his right hand when he's holding onto it) which was used by many resistance groups as a secret identifying signal. While I don't know if Waititi did this intentionally, it would tie up many loose ends, why Captain K admires Jojo's mother, put in such minimal effort to his job, and hid Elsa, who he could clearly see was a hidden guest in Jojo's house. Additionally, it's likely that Captain K was lying at the beginning of the scene when he says he stopped by to drop off pamphlets for Jojo, as there is no reason to believe he had ever done this before and instead stopped by to intervene in a potentially hostile scenario between Jojo and the Gestapo.

I think part of why Captain K's reasoning is so ambiguous is because we are meant to see the world through the eyes of children, who do not know all the subtext driving the adults' motivations. We, as older viewers, have to piece together and come to satisfying conclusions on our own as to why the charters act in the ways they do.

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