‘Jojo Rabbit’: Surprisingly Sweet

Just keep going. That’s the message here, not that Nazis are funny or that children are incapable of emotional complexity but that in the darkest of nights all we can do is to do what we can. Come what may but love conquers all.

An Alternate History: The Man in the High Castle

The American public is hardly unfamiliar with alternate history timelines: Video games, B-movies, comic books, novels and purely speculative military history (“what if D-Day had failed?”) have all mustered their collective pop-cultural capital in the occasionally dubious quest to show worlds in which the Roman Empire never fell, or in which the Confederacy triumphed in the Civil War. No topic, of course, is quite as juicy for an alternate history setting as an Axis victory in the Second World War. Somehow, even though contributions as bizarrely variant in style and tone as Robert Harris’ Fatherland and the 2014 video game Wolfenstein: The New Order have already drawn the subject to wild extremes (the latter source’s soundtrack includes a Nazified Beatles), there is still something shocking about seeing swastikas over Times Square. Amazon Studios’ newly-released streaming series The Man in the High Castle provides that precise image, and much, much more. In the show’s chilling would-be universe, the Axis Powers, having bombed Washington D.C. into a smoldering crater and wiped out all American resistance, have divided their new North American conquest in two.