The Boy in Striped Pajamas (Movie)

Based on The Boy in Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Studio: Miramax Films (2008)
Rating: PG-13

Genre: Historical, drama
Director: Mark Herman
Main Cast: Asa Butterfield, Zac Mattoon O'Brien

Viewer’s Annotation: Bruno misses his playmates when his family moves from the city to the country, so he is delighted to meet Shmuel who lives on a “farm” and wears striped pajamas; but when the adventuresome Bruno dons pajamas and slips under the barbed wire fence, he realizes that his new friend’s world is nothing that he believed it to be.

Summary: Eight-year-old Bruno is proud of his father, a German soldier recently promoted. When his father needs to relocate to carry out his latest duties, Bruno moves with his family from their Berlin home to an unusual manor house in the countryside. From his new bedroom window, Bruno sees in the distance a cluster of buildings and he thinks he is seeing a farm where all the farmers wear striped pajamas. Determined to explore despite his mother’s insistence that he play in the front courtyard, Bruno makes his way to the work camp and befriends Shmuel, a boy on the other side of the barbed wire fence. With all the innocence, naivete, and foolishness of childhood, Bruno and Shmuel come up with a plan for Bruno to make his way into the camp, thinking they will have a grand adventure looking for Shmuel’s father. Once inside the camp, Bruno finally registers some of the truth of his own father’s duties to the Fatherland.

Notes: This shocking story juxtaposes the sweet joys of childhood with the harrowing realities of the Holocaust. Vera Farmiga’s performance as Bruno’s mother is particularly moving.
Flags: 5