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Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis, and Asa Butterfield star in Little Voice writer/director Mark Herman's adaptation of John Boyne's novel concerning the forbidden friendship that between an eight-year-old German boy and a Jewish concentration camp prisoner in World War II-era Germany. The innocent son of a high-ranking Nazi commandant, Bruno has been largely shielded from the harsh realities of the war. When Bruno discovers that his father has been promoted and that their family will be moving from Berlin into the countryside, he doesn't take the news well. Increasingly bored in his sprawling yet dreary country abode and forbidden by his mother from exploring the backyard, young Bruno searches for something to do while his older sister plays with dolls and vies for the attention of handsome Lieutenant Kotler (Rupert Friend). One day, bored and gazing out his bedroom window, Bruno spies what first appears to be a nearby farm; his parents refuse to discuss it, and all of the inhabitants there are curiously clad in striped pajamas. But while Bruno's mother naïvely believes the "farm" to be an internment camp, her husband has sworn under oath never to reveal that it is in fact an extermination camp specifically designed to help the Nazis achieve their horrific "Final Solution." Eventually defying his mother's rules and venturing out beyond the backyard, Bruno arrives at a barbed wire fence to find a young boy just his age emptying rubble from a wheel barrel. Like Pavel, the kitchen worker who cooks all of Bruno's meals, the young boy is wearing striped pajamas. His name is Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), and before long the two young boys become fast friends. But the closer these two boys grow, the more Bruno becomes awakened to the horrors unfolding all around them. His mother is catching on quickly as well, a fact that causes great tension in her marriage to Bruno's father. Later, after Bruno swipes a piece of cake for Shmuel, Lt. Kotler accuses the Jewish boy of stealing and delivers a swift punishment. When Bruno's father announces that the young boy and his mother will be going to live with their aunt in Heidelberg, Bruno grabs a shovel and makes his way to the camp, setting into motion a tragic and devastating sequence of events.~Jason Buchanan
Deleted scenes (with optional commentary by writer/director Mark Herman and author John Boyne)
Friendship Beyond the Fence featurette
Feature commentary by writer/director Mark Herman and author John Boyne
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Rated 5 out of 5 stars
My 13 year old son was absolutely quiet...
My 13 year old son was absolutely quiet as the credits rolled....
There is no such thing as a perfect movie. Especially since we all have our own ideas about what that would entail.
Usually we excuse artistic license as a means of telling a story allowing room for things to happen that may seem out of
place. This movie has the feel of a stage play, with young characters showing emotion well beyond their years. The two
boys eyes are enough to tell the story. Is Bruno naive? Yes he is, but he represents everyone who turned a deaf ear to
the atrocities of WWII. Seen through his eyes we are taken on the journey of an innocent and in seeing it that way it
makes it even harder to believe that anyone who knew what was happening at that time would look away or pretend
that it was not happening. He trusts that people are good and his innocent heart knows that no one is the enemy just
because of something like their nationality, especially another 8 year old boy.
The picture is gorgeous, the sound is fantastic especially in the closing scene as we race to the conclusion. Vera Farmiga
is wonderful here - I wish they had actually developed her breakdown even further. And the two boys are captivating.
Perfect movie? No such thing. Stunning movie? Thought provoking? Absolutely.
If the human story of WW2 interests you The Boy in the Striped Pajamas will pierce your heart. This is not your typical graphic battle film, rather from the veiwpoint of the spirit of people torn between loyalty to one's country and the love of family. It strikes the heart of being human no matter which side you are on. It's not for the faint of heart as children are involved, but if you wish to see the struggle between loving others from a human perspective this will touch your innermost emotions. Based on a fictional novel it could easily have been fact. Must see for those interested in the "human" story of WW2.
"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" is not the "feel good hit of the summer".. BUT, it is an important movie to consider working into your and your family's educational viewing. Watch it before showing it to your kids - it could give you nightmares, so the kids are likely more at risk to be especially freaked-out. This said, it is an important opportunity to get a safe version of some time in other people's shoes - other people who endured the unimaginable.
Like "Schindler's List," this story depicted what atrocities Hitler's regime did to the Jewish people. It was a captivating story and the actors were great, especially the two young boys, the central characters. We found the ending to be too abrupt however, expecting more drama or suspense. Also like "Schindler's List," in spite of being a great movie, it will be hard to watch again any time soon. I would strongly recommend it and also encourage discussion among parents and their children who may view it.
This is a movie I have not personally seen but my grandsons wanted it so I purchased it for them. I thought it was a bit mature for a 8 and 11 year old but it is historical and their parents said given the PG rating they could watch it. They enjoyed the movie but I'm not sure if they understood the seriousness of the storyline. It is a movie everyone should at least watch once because war effects children also.
WWII concentration camp is the setting. One boy inside the camp is a Jewish prisoner (striped clothing) finds a friend in a boy who is outside of the fence (his father is one of the camp's officers). These children see each other through the eyes of innocence not the hostilities and fears of the war. The consequences are gripping and pull at your heart. There needs to be more love in this world so all wars cease.
This is a heart-touching story about a friendship that develops between the son of a high-ranking SS official and a Jewish prisoner during WWII. Full of youth and innocence, the boys don't fully understand the complexity of their situation. All they know is that they enjoy spending time with each other. The ending is a tear-jerker, so get the tissues ready. The cast and acting are first-rate, so don't miss out on this movie.
Two young boys form a friendship on opposite sides of a fence. The boy on the outside of the fence is the young son of an officer in charge of the people on the inside of the fence.
This is a beautiful, yet heart-wrenching story of what can never be allowed to happen again. All I can say, without spoiling the plot, is everything in this film was done right - nothing heavy-handed - just a great film.