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Friday, November 21, 2008

Affecting Movie Depicts Holocaust Through Child’s Eyes

Thought-provoking and moving, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” tells the tragic tale of two boys swept up in forces they do not understand during World War II. The film explores the easy spread of hatred and racism and the horrifying consequences for the innocent victims of war. Although the film is based upon a young adult novel by John Boyne, viewers should be aware that some of the story may be disturbing, especially for younger children.

Directed by Mark Herman, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” centers on Bruno, an 8-year-old growing up in Nazi Germany. We first see Bruno as he and his friends run home from school through the streets of Berlin, lightheartedly pretending to be airplanes. Bruno’s life is about to change, however. His father, a high-ranking officer in Hitler’s army, has been promoted, and the family must move to an isolated home in the country for him to fulfill his new assignment. As soon as Bruno spies a fenced-off field occupied by what he thinks are “farmers” wearing “striped pajamas,” it is clear that Bruno’s father is the new commandant of a concentration camp, set up to exterminate the Jewish people being rounded up across the Third Reich. Only Bruno and his mother do not understand the full implications of what is going on at the camp.

Bruno, a naturally curious and adventurous boy, soon finds himself chafing at the restrictions imposed on him at his new home. Missing his friends, he is bored and extremely curious about the inhabitants of the nearby “farm.” One day he ventures into the woods where his mother has forbidden him to go. He reaches the camp and spies a little boy on the other side of the fence working at a pile of rubble. Bruno strikes up a conversation with the boy, Shmuel, and the pair forge an uneasy and unlikely friendship. Read more...

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