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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
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Product Description

Bored & restless in his new home bruno an innocent & naive 8 year old ignores his mother & sets off on an adventure into the woods. Soon he meets a young boy & a surprising friendship develops. Set during wwii this remarkable & inspiring story will capture your heart & engage your mind. Studio: Buena Vista Home Video Release Date: 03/10/2009 Run time: 94 minutes Rating: Pg13

The innocence of childhood savagely collides with the Holocaust in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Bruno (Asa Butterfield) knows that his father is a soldier and that they have to move to a new house in the country... a house near what he thinks is a farm. But his father isn't just a soldier; he's a high-ranking officer in Hitler's elite SS troops who's just been placed in command of Auschwitz. As Bruno explores the woods around the house, he discovers the concentration camp's perimeter fence. On the other side sits a boy his own age, with whom Bruno strikes up a friendship--a friendship that will have tragic consequences. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is most powerful in the details: The casual brutality of a Nazi lieutenant; the uncomfortable juxtaposition of the family's domestic life with glimpses of the treatment of the imprisoned Jews; a ghastly propaganda film suggesting that life at Auschwitz was like a holiday. But more than anything else, Butterfield's performance makes this film compelling. The young actor perfectly conveys Bruno's limited perspective even as the film carefully unveils the larger, darker reality. The movie's ending will undoubtedly spark arguments, but only because of the emotional complexity of what happens--The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is made with great skill and compassion. Also featuring David Thewlis (Naked) and Vera Farmiga (The Departed) as Bruno's parents. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews:

  • striped pajamas...
    A great movie with a sad ending. It could have been a bit more closer to the book.

    A child's eye view of the holocaust.......more info
  • MOVIE REVIEW
    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas I ordered this movie from Amazon for my mom. When it came, my dad accidently picked it up with some movies to be returned to Blockbuster. They bought it from him! So I ordered it, again, from Amazon. It arrived very quickly, both times, and is a very intrigueing story. You may cry at the end, but will enjoy the film....more info
  • A different perspective
    So I saw a preview for this movie a few months back and was very disappointed that the movie didn't come to a movie theater around me. So I rented the movie last night and it was superb!! I am a major WWII movie and history buff and was very glad to see a movie portray what it was like for the "kinder's" (kids) of that time. Those two little boys capture your heart and are excellent in their roles. I would recommend this movie to anyone with a heart!!
    Enjoy!!~
    ...more info
  • An atypical Holocaust film that is engaging, thought-provoking, and heart-wrenching
    2008 was a very big year for films adapted from books, with several reaching the high acclaim of Academy Award nominations. One adapted film that didn't get much recognition, however, is The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, based on the novel by John Boyne.

    The film opens with the following quote emblazoned on the screen: "Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows." As the quote suggests, this is a sort of coming of age film, and over the course of 94 minutes,those in the audience slowly watch the innocence of children unravel before their eyes as the reality of what is taking place becomes more and more illuminated.

    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is the story of a family living in Berlin during World War II. The main character, an eight-year-old boy named Bruno (Asa Butterfield), spends his time in Berlin playing with his friends and reading adventure novels. His father, brilliantly played by David Thewlis (most will recognize him as Professor Lupin from the Harry Potter franchise), soon gets a promotion, however, and Bruno, his parents, and his sister move to the German countryside where his father will take up his new position. Unlike their time in Berlin, Bruno's parents are careful to keep their son close to home, and Bruno, an explorer and adventurer at heart, is confined to the small fenced area surrounding their house.

    From his bedroom window, Bruno can see what he thinks is a strange farm off in the distance. He notices that the "farmers" act strangely and wear strange "pajamas" while they work. Later, he notices that the smokestacks on the farm give off an absolutely wretched stench when they are burning. By now, of course, the audience knows that what Bruno has seen is not a farm at all, and that his father's new position is Commandant of the nearby concentration camp.

    The naive Bruno manages to escape from the grounds of his home and is finally free to explore the woods behind the house. Not paying much attention to where he is going, he happens upon a remote part of the camp where he meets another eight-year-old boy, Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), confined by a different kind of fence. The two become friends, and Bruno sneaks away every chance he gets to go and visit the only playmate he has found since moving away from Berlin.

    This is an interesting film on many accounts, the most fascinating being the changes that each member of Bruno's family undergoes. His father, a seemingly reluctant, "political only" Nazi at the beginning, devolves into a hardened, harsh man. Bruno's sister Gretel (Amber Beattie), encouraged by a handsome lieutenant working with her father, falls victim to the Aryan propaganda so much that her room is soon filled with posters of the Fuhrer, much like young girls today would adorn their walls with images of the Jonas Brothers. Finally, there's Bruno's mother (Vera Farmiga), who is the antithesis to the growing Nazism in her family. At first she is happy for her husband and the success he has as a soldier in the German army. However, as she learns more about her husband's new charge, and the truth is revealed about the camp, she becomes bitter and angry.

    And then there's Bruno. All the signs are there. Bruno comes across every hint he possibly could as to the truth behind the "farm" where his friend Shmuel lives and works. Yet he remains utterly oblivious. Caught between the two stages of "sounds and smells and sights" and "the dark hour of reason," the filmmakers show the great price of failing to deal with the world around us.

    Much of the criticism that I've read regarding this film deals with the supposed overextension of innocence to both child characters. Many critics cannot grasp the idea of an eight-year-old child not understanding that the "farm" is really a horrible work camp, that the "pajamas" are prison clothes, that the mysterious disappearances that Shmuel tells of and the smoke from the chimneys are the results of the systematic slaughter of the camp's inhabitants. That may be a fair criticism, but I think it misses the greater point that the filmmakers seem to be making.

    Bigger than a child's loss of innocence, Bruno seems to be a representation of Germany, perhaps even humanity, itself, and the failure to deal with the evil right before one's very eyes. So many Germans claimed the innocence that we see in Bruno, saying they had no knowledge of the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem that Hitler and his SS were carrying out across the European continent. Even today, despite all the existing evidence, there are still those that deny the Holocaust happened, not wanting to acknowledge the great evil of which humanity, perhaps even their neighbors and family members, is capable. More than anything else, this film shows the great price humanity pays for such utter naivete.

    All in all, this is a very well done film. The story, though slow in the beginning, is engaging, thought-provoking, and, in the end, heart-wrenching. It is well-acted, especially in the performances of the young boys, and the bright colors and airy score provide a sort of bizarre juxtaposition to what is happening on screen.

    The DVD includes the typical bonus features of deleted scenes and a feature-length commentary, as well as a featurette entitled "Friendship Beyond the Fence."...more info
  • Haunting and Well Crafted
    First, let's start off by saying that the subject matter is not the easiest and some will find this a difficult film to watch. But I urge you to do so. It is a haunting film, one that will make you think and also understand the emotional scope of the horrors that happened in Nazi Germany.

    The script (adapted from the novel by John Boyne) is tight, the dialog and characters defined as much by what the characters do not say as they are by their words, deed and actions. The casting is spot on as well, with Jack Scanlon as Shmuel turning in a heartbreaking performance, full off the innocence of youth tamped down by the horror around him. Likewise, David Hayman as Pavel turns in an understated performance to serve as counterbalance to Shmuel. Pavel has seen it all, plunged from the heights to the lowest of lows. He is a broken man and yet he has not lost his humanity. Asa Butterfield turns in a nice performance as Bruno, the son of the Nazi Commandant, and Vera Farmiga as Bruno's mother gives a nuanced performance as the woman who has her head in the sand but her eyes wide open. And stunningly frightening is Henry Kingsmill as the explosive Nazi officer, Karl. And David Thewlis as the steady and determined Commandant is equally effective.

    The direction combined with the writing is what makes this film really sail. The contrast between the innocence of the two boys and the action going on about them is powerful, creating a view of racism that seems all the more horrible when seen through the eyes of children who don't understand what is happening, what it all means.

    Difficult and challenging, this film is an important look at racism and the massive sins of the Nazi regime. It takes an event which seems both far away and achingly near to us in the time line and creates a truly horrifying and moving portrait of what can happen when madmen go unchecked. Highly recommended.

    ...more info
  • Harrowing, poignant, devastating...unforgettable
    How wonderful it must be to see the world through the eyes of an oblivious child. There are no jobs, no wars, no famine, no taxes, no real thought of danger. For a young boy named Bruno (Asa Butterfield), the naivety and innocence could prove to be potentially dangerous.

    An up-and-coming SS officer (David Thewlis) is given a promotion; and as a result of his new assignment, his family is forced to move. Traveling from the relative safety of Berlin to a very large, remote house was not what anyone other than the father expected. Simultaneously supportive and reluctant, his family - especially the mother (played with heart-breaking emotion by Vera Farmiga) - soon realizes their new home is adjacent to an active concentration camp.

    With more than a passing resemblance to a mini-Hitler, Bruno is a typically adventurous boy. Having a soldier for a father is a source of pride and admiration for him; he'd love nothing better than to emulate his father. He initially notices the local "gardeners" in "pajamas" and becomes intrigued. While exploring the woods in his backyard, something strictly forbidden from by his mother, he comes across the nearby camp and meets Shmuel (Scanlon), an emaciated, filthy eight-year old Jewish prisoner. The two form a tenuous and dangerous friendship, discussing their childish similarities, but also uncovering at least one significant difference: their feeling towards soldiers. Neither understands the precariousness of their surroundings, nor do they understand the hideous smells coming from a burning smokestack very nearby.

    Eventually their shared innocence disintegrates under the pressure of their real world surroundings as Bruno attempts to comprehend why everyone seems to hate the Jews even though his friend Shmuel is such a nice guy. The final jaw-dropping moment shines light on the possibility of tragedy when one is ignorant, oblivious, or purposefully turning a blind eye to the surrounding dangers.

    The performances from all are incredibly moving. Witnessing not only the loss of Jewish childhood via the stolen dignity, humanity, and life itself, but also that of the German childhood manipulated via the indoctrination of Nazi propaganda, truly delivers an incredibly heave message that resonates long after the movie is complete. Truly stunning, this film does an incredible job at displaying the atrocities of the death camps while providing an invaluable teaching tool. Highly recommended and emotionally devastating....more info
  • Abject film is offensive and embarrassing in its metaphorical tale
    During World War II, the unbelievably naive eight year old child of the Nazi commander of a concentration camp becomes the friend, through the barbed wire (with nary a guard in sight) of an eight year old inmate of said camp. Eventually, he decides to enter the camp (excavating a tunnel through it!) to help his friend find his father. Their destiny is (spoiler ahead) the gas chamber, in a jaw dropping awful scene. Unabashedly sentimental and terribly manipulative, this movie makes Roberto Benigni's famously awful "Life is Beautiful" a model of taste by comparison. Maybe in the original book (which I have not read) this works as a fable, but I'm not exaggerating by saying that there is not a single moment in this film that is believable. For starters: If it was so easy to enter the camp, with just a shovel, how come the inmates didn't escape?. And the scene where the mother cries as the rain is pouring when she realizes the fate of her child and the camera moves upward is a textbook case of cinematic manipulation. Avoid this at all costs....more info
  • A disturbing yet beautiful film
    I recently watched THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS. I had read some good things about it and both my wife and I wanted to see it. I knew it was about the relationship between a young German boy and that of boy inside a concentration camp. It was interesting to watch this English film, and I thought the acting, music, editing and direction was terrific. The two boys give outstanding performances and you would almost hope that there would be a happy ending, but as with the actual Holocaust it had a devastating ending that left my wife and I stunned. We never expected this film to end the way it did. To me, this made the film all the more poignant....more info
  • Incredibly moving
    Bruno is the 8-year-old son of a high-ranking Nazi officer during WWII. He is unhappy when his parents tell him that the family is moving to the country, as he hates to leave his friends. The new house is a forbidding place with no other children around to play with. Bruno is told not to wander in the back yard, but he manages to do so anyway and his explorations take him to a barbed-wire fence with a young boy on the other side. This boy is wearing striped pajamas and his hair has been shaved off. He is a stark contrast to Bruno, who has had a privileged upbringing and every material advanatage. The two boys begin a poignant friendship which begins to show Bruno exactly what is going on over the other side of the fence. This is a beautifully-made movie with wonderful, natural performances by the two young men who play the two main parts. It is a movie to ponder and one which won't soon be forgotten....more info
  • The Wisdom of Children
    THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS is a 'compleat' motion picture: even the title states the vision of the film in a subtly powerful way. Based on the excellent novel by John Boyne and adapted for the screen by director Mark Herman, this film has the courage to re-visit the Holocaust from the child's perspective. Not that it covers up the atrocities of that horrid event and time - quite the opposite: in electing to examine that period in history the stance is that of two children, one German son of an officer in Hitler's armed forces and one son of a Jewish captive living with his father in a concentration camp. The juxtaposition of these two eight year old boys separated not only by a fence but by an ideology neither of them can fathom the other's side makes for not only a brilliant film but also an unforgettable emotional experience.

    Bruno (Asa Butterfield in an extraordinary performance) is eight, his sister Gretel (Amber Beattie) is twelve and the two live with their parents in 1940 Berlin - father (David Thewlis) is a Komandant in Hitler's army and mother (Vera Farminga) is a popular socialite and loving mother. Father is 'promoted' and will be in charge of a new 'position' that means moving from their beautiful Berlin home to a 'home in the country'. Though Bruno doesn't want to leave his friends the family does indeed move - to a cold house next to what Bruno perceives is a farm. The father is forbidden to share his role and the meaning of it with his family, but it soon becomes obvious by the smoke stacks spewing hideously smelling odors into the atmosphere that the 'farm' is a concentration camp. The house servant Pavel (David Hayman), though abused by the father, becomes Bruno's friend when Bruno sustains an injury: Pavel quietly admits to Bruno that despite his 'pajama' uniform from the 'farm' that he practiced medicine in the past. Bored, Bruno explores the forbidden area outside his home confines and finds a barbed wire electrified fence behind which sits Shmuel (Jack Scanlon) who becomes Bruno's friend. Neither lad understands the differences between them until Shmuel is sent into Bruno's household to polish glasses for a party: the armed forces chauffeur Lieutenant Kotler (Rupert Friend) beats the 'little filthy Jew' for eating pastries Bruno has shared with him - a fact that the terrified Bruno denies.

    The mother discovers the truth about the 'farm' and the smoke stacks and sinks into a depression, loathing that her husband is in charge of such atrocities. Gretel becomes transformed as a Hitler youth under the influence of the children's tutor (Jim Norton) and there are obvious philosophical schisms in the family. Bruno, regretting his treatment of Shmuel, continues to sneak food to him and plans to help his young friend save Shmuel's father: Bruno digs into the 'farm' and the results bring the film to a terrifying and abrupt end.

    Both young actors give enormously moving performances and the manner in which Herman directs the action underlines the blur of perception many German's had about the reality of the Final Solution. But for what this viewer perceives as the reason the film sustains the powerful message it does is the manner in which it ends. There are no attempts to 'sanitize' this film: it simply ends with a lightning bolt jolt that is one of the most powerful statements in all of the many films about the Holocaust. It is simply a brilliant masterpiece of a movie from every aspect of judging it - acting, direction, music, cinematography, editing - and why this film failed to make an impression on the critics and public (and the Oscar folks!) when it was released in the theaters remains a conundrum. Highly recommended for all audiences. Grady Harp, March 09...more info
  • Still depressed
    Good movie with a horrific ending. While a lot of reviewers had problems with the factual events - "how is it possible that the little jewish boy can sit at the fence unobserved", etc.,REMEMBER - this is a MOVIE, not a documentary.
    If you are easily depressed, this is not a movie to watch and I certainly would not recommend it for children under 10. ...more info
  • The WORST - GOOD movie I have ever watched!!!!!!!!
    First of all, Spoiler alert! Dont read if you dont want me to mess up the ending.

    First of all I thought the movie was very well written and it kept me emotionally and mentally involved throughout. It is a very thought provoking and an easy movie to watch.... until the end! The character development was done very well. I truely grew to care about each main character in different ways. Both parents and both boys were perfect for their parts. Great character development was a strenght but also a weakness. Since I grew to care about the characters, the ending was too much for me to handle. I hated that last scene!!! I'll never watch this movie EVER again. It tells a VERY IMPORTANT message that needs to be shown. With that said, I only want to experience this message once. I donated the movie to the local library.

    GREAT MOVIE TO MAKE YOU THINK BUT NOT FOR FUN ENTERTAINMENT!

    Daniel ...more info
  • "You're not a doctor -- you peel potatoes!"
    Prepare yourself: you will need tissues for this one. This is a Holocaust movie with sufficient realism to remind the viewer that this horror did in fact happen. Definitely NOT a movie for the younger kids.

    This film took the various views of the Holocaust during that time. It is through an eight-year-old boy, Bruno, that we see events unfold. Bruno's father, Ralf, is a Nazi soldier, a highly ranked one at that. Bruno's grandfather is proud of his son's position in the German military, convinced that his son is "making history." Bruno's grandmother is a German citizen who opposes Hitler's views, much to the chagrin of her own son. And Bruno's mother is a society wife, who at the beginning of the film is concerned only with her own family and their secular German life. At the beginning, you see these four points of view and how sheltered Bruno has been -- politics isn't discussed in front of the children, so Bruno and his older sister Gretel have a cheerfully ignorant childhood.

    When Ralf is promoted, he brings his wife and children away from Berlin to a "house in the country." Bruno hates this move until he peeks out of the window and discovers a "farm" a ways away. He wonders aloud why the farmers wear their pajamas all day long. Bruno's questions are ignored. He asks his father what the funny smell is coming from the chimneys far away ... and his father dismisses it gruffly, saying, "They burn rubbish over there." Bruno wonders how the nice man -- Pavel -- who peels potatoes knew how to treat his wound after a bad fall. Pavel tells him that he "used to practice as a doctor before ... coming here." Pavel doesn't tell the young boy what is going on, that he's Jewish ... or that the "farm" is really a concentration camp.

    An exploring Bruno discovers a boy named Shmuel (pronounced "Shmall") who's his exact age, sitting on the "farm"/camp side of a barbed wire fence in striped pajamas. When Bruno asks his new friend why he's wearing pajamas with numbers, if it's part of a game, he is quickly informed that soldiers took his other clothes away and that it is not a game. "I don't much care for soldiers, do you?" Shmuel asks. Bruno tells him, "I do. My father's a soldier -- but not the kind that takes people's clothes away." Bruno asks why there is barbed wire, wondering aloud if it's to keep animals from getting out. Shmuel explains that it's to keep people from getting out. When Bruno presses the matter, his friend explains just why -- Shmuel is a Jew.

    Bruno and Shmuel become good friends, despite their different backgrounds and situations. In one critical moment, he makes a mistake he immediately regrets and seeks to correct it somehow for his friend. For Shmuel, he will right the wrong ... no matter what. Without hesitation, the boys make a pact ... one made in innocence and friendship. The two young actors that played Bruno and Shmuel were great, both with expressive eyes and good delivery on every line. David Thewlis (Lupin from the "Harry Potter" films) is excellent as Bruno's father in this movie, especially in the movie's poignant final scenes ... a great job in a very complicated role.

    At the end, my jaw dropped and I had tears in my eyes. I doubt I would add this to my own collection (I borrowed this), but I can say that I do not regret seeing it. The ending is both staggering and chilling, the final shot of the film is poignant in its realism. If you appreciated Schindler's List for its historical relevance, then you would also appreciate this movie....more info
  • Hard to swallow
    Of all the Holocaust dramatizations I've ever seen, this one was easily the most contrived. Though I really wanted to like it, I quickly realized it wasn't going to be able to live up to the expectations I had for it.

    Not knowing a great deal about the plot beforehand, the idea of a movie about the Holocaust approached from the perspective of a young German boy seemed a really intriguing idea. But in translating that idea to film, something was lost.

    Though it might seem an inconsequential and trivial point to some, as an English film with English actors, for me, a good deal of credibility was lost up front. And there were other problems here. The notion of a camp inmate being able to slip away unnoticed, presumably about the same time each day, to talk, play, and share food with his young German companion - who would ultimately be able to dig under the electric fence that divided them, also unnoticed, seemed particularly far-fetched. What's more, the wife of the Nazi commander who is responsible for operations at Auschwitz has no clue that Jews were being sent there to die, or that her husband is there to make sure this happens according to plan. At times she even seems sympathetic to the plight of the Jews, thanking the prisoner who worked in her house for bandaging her son's knee, wincing when he is beaten, and looking on with an obvious sense of disapproval in finding her daughter's bedroom plastered with Nazi images, even questioning what the new tutor was teaching her children. The notion of an unsuspecting, compassionate woman as the wife of a high-ranking Nazi official was perhaps the hardest idea of all to swallow. Was the intention here to soften a much harsher reality because that reality - that she knew exactly what was going on and agreed fully with her husband that Jews could not be considered people - was too much to ask viewers to digest?

    Other things were "off" here as well. The way in which the two boys communicate with each other, particularly in the beginning, seems more befitting men many years older than a couple of eight year olds. And young Bruno's perception of the concentration camp as a farm, its inmates as pajama-clad strangers, and the prisoner in his house as a man who willingly "gave it all up" (meaning his career as a doctor) to peel potatoes - which should have been able to come off as genuine enough as an eight year old's observation - somehow didn't.

    The young boys were really quite good actors, so kudos to them. I can't say the same for the actresses who portrayed the mother and sister - their performances were a bit on the bland side. And David Thewliss, an actor I've admired for some time, was simply miscast here.

    All this aside, the last twenty minutes build in intensity to deliver a final unexpected wallop - powerful enough to almost overlook the problems unraveled in the first hour.

    Though it could have been a lot better, the film makes a point about the utter senselessness of man's inhumanity to man, and if it makes young people interested in learning more about the Holocaust, then in the final analysis, it was an important film....more info
  • Was it meant to be a Schindler's List?
    I think this movie was made in the UK because the very first thing I noticed was that all the characters had English ascents. I've never read the book but I did know it was meant to be a children's story and so I assumed that the movie would be much gentler. At the beginning I felt you didn't get a very good sense of the German culture at the time, subtract the Nazi flags and it could just as easily have been London or New York 1943 than Berlin. But I excused all of this because, again I assumed it was meant to be a children's story and more of a family movie.
    When Bruno first meats the little Jewish boy, my first thought was that this isn't at all historically correct. The grandparents didn't make it through the selection process and were sent to the showers but the eight-year-old little boy did? But then I told myself, this isn't Auschwitz, in some of the smaller concentration camps they didn't always kill so many of the children.
    When Bruno decides he's going to dig under the fence and get into the camp, my mom screamed beside me "Oh my God! I don't want to watch this anymore! Their going to think he's a Jew and he'll die in the camp!" The thought had never occurred to me because I thought this was a children's story, I had no idea how I expected to it to end but that didn't seem right.
    I am Jewish myself and have been, let's say desensitized at a young age. I remember sitting in religious school when I was nine watching my teacher draw a detailed map of Germany on the board and placing a dot to represent a camp. But I found myself asking after I watched this movie, did they mean for it to be a Schindler's List?
    Throughout the movie you feel this conflict, perhaps it was in the book as well, I don't know, but it was as though the writers or the director weren't sure what feeling they wanted to give you. I truly believe this movie could have gone two ways and either would be equally good, but the movie tried to go both ways.
    Option 1: It could have been a feel good children's story. Bruno could have dug under the fence and the other boy could have come out. Bruno's mother could have found them in the forest and smuggled them away, leaving her husband, and the boy could have passed as one of the family, slipping seamlessly into the rest of society.
    Option 2: It could have been an all out, hard core, R rated, Holocaust movie. I didn't like the casting of the father, he was too soft, (for those of you who have read The Book Thief, he would have made the perfect Hans Hubermann, the man on the wrong side of the war) he acted too much like "I'm doing this because I have to to be respected and protect my family, not because I truly believe that this is right." The story would need to have focused more on how awful dad's views were and the little boys and the fence would have needn't to be a side story. When the boy dies, you would need to feel terrible because you cared about him, but you would have had to really believe that the father deserved it and that would be the doninating feeling. I think the key with this would have been better casting of the father.
    I would have had a hard time deciding which way it should have gone, especially because it seems to be being used as a teaching tool but I don't believe it was very well done and I would not recommend it. It could have been a Schindler's List or it could have been a Life is Beautiful but not both.
    ...more info
  • Don't Miss This One!
    I could have read this book in just one day! This book is about a 9-yr-old boy named Bruno whose father becomes the commandant of a Nazi death camp for Jews. Bruno becomes friends with one of the Jewish boys there named Shmuel. What a powerful story this is!! The ending really shook me to the core. It was also made into a move--The Boy in the Striped Pajamas...more info
  • The Boy In The Striped Pajamas.
    The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, is an experience you will never forget. It's a heartwarming story of the effects of WW11 on two young boys, and how a friendship developed between them. Superb acting by both boys makes this a motion picture you will take to your heart. This inspiring story about the power of the human spirit will capture your heart in a way you will never forget.
    ...more info
  • Almost the Best
    I've seen a great number of movies in my 76 years; I've not seen the best, however, this one comes very close. I'm a self-appointed expert on the Nazi regime and this movie is a very good depiction of that time in our lives. I highly recommend the movie especially to those of you who were alive at that time - 4.48 stars....more info
  • Well done and enjoyable
    I saw this with my two older children, boy-13 girl-11. Before we saw it, they had many questions which I sought ot answer by going online. We found a site about Aushwitz, the camp in which the events of the movie take place. This was thier first exposure to the Holocaust. Having given them some of the horrific background surrounding those in the movie enabled them to understand better what was going on.

    It was a great movie and my kids agreed. They watched it a second time. The thing I liked about the movie was the fact that the film used the Holocaust as a backdrop, not as some politcal statement. It was there, just not in your face.

    The story was captivating, the ending completely unexpected. The three of us who watched it had a completely different ending envisioned. But I think as it unfolded, it made the movie much more powerful.

    Excellent, and I think kids could watch this without too much after affects. But an adult who understands what is going on needs to be present in order to explain what is going on.

    ...more info
  • Prepare to be shaken to the very core of your being.
    This movie was incredible.I am still choked up days after seeing it.These are the stories that must be told.Hard to watch,very well-acted.It will leave a lasting impact on you.I will have all my children watch this....more info
  • Excellent Film With Few Flaws
    I watched this film with my two young adult daughters and all of us spent some time together afterwards discussing the film from our own perspectives. Their paternal grandparents lived in Germany during WWII and in visiting them over the years we have had the opportunity to visit several of the remains of concentration camps and it has been a life changing experience for all of us. This movie, while a heartbreaking but necessary lesson on many levels, did have one flaw that all of us picked up on right away. We knew it was an English picture but the choice of actors, especially for the boy and his mother who had pronounced English accents, really threw us off the beginning of the film. To present this film as being a German story to us fell short with the young boy calling his mother "Mum" with true British style instead of the German version which would be "Mutti". The sister and the father and grandfather all seemed to be "German" as they did not have the English accents so it was a bit of a disappointment and therefore I gave it 4 stars instead of the 5 it should have received. A real German officer would not have gotten this type of job with a British wife or British sounding children and that was totally confusing to us all. ...more info
  • Watch out for the ending!
    A German soldier is promoted and has to move his family next to a camp that is holding Jews during World War II. The German family goes through many changes. His children are not happy and his wife certainly isn't. His wife doesn't approve of the way they treat the Jews and the fact that her husband won't do anything about it, a decision he regrets in the end as two innocent 8 year old boys lives are lost. All movies do not end on a pretty note and this is one of them. This movie is very educational especially for young children who may be studying this time period in school. It will help them to understand what the camp was like and what the Germans did to the Jews. They will be left with one big question and that is "why didn't someone stop this"? Someone should have stood ground and said no....more info
  • very good
    A really enjoyed this movie. Sadly, I thought the ending was wonderful as well. Proof that we are punished for our sins. Even if we never hurt someone, we hurt them but not helping them. Wonderful movie. ...more info
  • TIMELY
    This is a film the world NEEDS to see....peace comes not through tolerance..but through real communication and understanding in a search for The Truth.....this movie reveals just that !!!...more info
  • Really makes you think
    This movie was very deep and thoughtful. The fact that they were at Aushwitz, the biggest "death" camp there was makes it that much more powerful. It makes you really realize how much innocence a young child, such as bruno, has. There are so many movies and books about the holocaust but there arnt a ton that tell it from a childs point of view and I think they did this movie very well. I have yet to read the book but it's on my list.

    The only think I didnt truly like about the movie was the ending. It left me with so many questions and longing for a longer movie. I tend to analaze movies so thats just what im doing. But overall, an exellent movie and worth watching....more info
  • 3 1/2 Stars...On the Fence
    As big fans of "Life is Beautiful" and some other fine WWII movies, my family and I watched this film with high expectations. We've visited a concentration camp in Austria and still get chills remembering the gas chambers and quarry.

    The story is simple on the surface, yet full of ethical and emotional complexity. When a Nazi family moves from the big city so that the promoted father can help oversee a prison camp, his young son, Bruno, is unaware of the harsh realities involved. From sheer boredom, Bruno leaves the home's confines and discovers an electric barbed-wire fence at which he forms a friendship with the boy in the striped pajamas. This leads to some nice explorations of race and prejudice, as well as a harrowing example of innocence lost in hopes of strengthening a friendship.

    The story's ending is cause for discussion and controversy, but I was already struggling to appreciate the movie before this. Not only do the Nazis all have strong British accents, they also speak with British slang at points, even saying "by miles" when kilometers are the continental standard. I was willing to get past this due to the strong acting, but the physical landscape was also not German in appearance. I've spent months in Germany, and this looked nothing like the regions I visited--lacked pine trees, cliffs, mountains--and even the city at the beginning looks nothing like Berlin.

    With accents and scenery already breaking some of the magic for me, I was further distracted by the seeming freedom the boys had to chat at will along the fence. Despite one guard tower visible in the distance, no one seems to notice the intruder or the absent prisoner. In "Life is Beautiful," a distinct fable-like quality allowed such things to work, but here I felt only duped and emotionally manipulated.

    The photography and acting were well done, the script had some nice moments of dialogue, but I was on the fence throughout, wanting to like it while finding too many sources of distraction....more info
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
    I've wanted to see this movie since I read the book, and now that I've seen it I love it! It has to do with a boy named Bruno who moves to a new house where from his bedroom window he sees what he believes is a farm, surrounded by a fence. His mother tells him not to go in the backyard but Bruno disobeys and explores all the way to the fence! Where he mets another boy, and a forbidden friendship is formed! It's really an amazing movie, very sad. This is a must-see movie for anybody....more info