The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas

  • Year:2009
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Mark Herman
  • Cast:László Áron, Asa Butterfield, Attila Egyed, Vera Farmiga, Rupert Friend, David Thewlis
  • Distributor:Walt Disney

  The Holocaust has been covered by man y different filmmakers, in many different countries. Mark Herman\'s...

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The Holocaust has been covered by man

y different filmmakers, in many different countries. Mark Herman\'s film, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, provides a fresh perspective, unveiling the horror of The Final Solution through the eyes of an eight-year old boy. When his father (David Thewlis), an officer in the German Army, is promoted and transferred to a new post, Bruno (Asa Butterfield), his sister Gretel (Amber Beattie) and mother (Vera Farmiga) move away from Berlin to a house in the country. Here, Bruno, an aspiring explorer, ha

s no friends and is limited to playing in the garden. One day, he sneaks out over to a nearby farm, where he meets Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), who has been imprisoned on the \"farm\" because he is Jewish. Now Bruno is confused about his new friend, who is supposed to be his enemy, and by what this farm is all about.

Based on a novel by John Boyne and adapted by director Mark Herman (Purely Belter), this is a remarkable film. Herman has done a magnificent job with a rich and thoughtful story, which asks what it means to be a good person, a g

ood parent, a good citizen or a good friend. These are questions for everyone, and not just a young boy.  However, the child\'s perspective of the film always prevents it from getting bogged down in its moral questioning. In addition, the all round superb characterisation, and in particular that of the young boys, makes this a compelling and moving film.

It has been beautifully filmed, with the opening tracking shots through forties Berlin (filmed in present-day Budapest) perfectly juxtaposed against Bruno and his friend\'s playing, oblivious to the realities of Nazism. The mise en scene throughout is particularly noteworthy, full of excellent period details and other elements which complement the story. The only false note is the melodramatic and overwrought climax.

The special features package is a standard one - there\'s an ordinary director\'s commentary and deleted scenes, although the making-of featurette is worth watching.  Please note, however, that the subject matter, as well as occasional implied violence, may make parents of young children cautious about showing it to them.

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