Sunday, December 14, 2008

Boy In The Striped Pajamas

I went to see the movie the Boy In The Striped Pajamas the other day.
I have been evading about writing my thoughts about the movie. It has won award. It was written for children. Which I can not imagine the book written for children unless the book had a different ending.
I am just stunned by the conclusion. The story is about a German boy and his family. They move to the country side, in German on a "Farm". His father is a officer in the German army. The boy, name Bruno is very naive,as well as his mother. She doesn't realize until they move where they are moving to. The mother doesn't agree with the German cause. She is constantly having arguments with her husband. She did not realize she would be close to a concentration camp. And unaware what the Germans are doing to the Jews. Their Grandfather comes to visit.
The Grandfather agrees with the cause but not the Grandmother that doesn't visit the camp. The Jews are blamed for all the woes that happened leading up to the war. The family have prisoners of the camp working in the house. One of the men is peeling potatoes. Bruno realizes that the man was a doctor. Bruno says to him "You must not have been a very good doctor. Bruno seems very naive about many things. Especially dealing with Jews. When he disobeys his mother and goes in the garden and wanders out to a barbed wire fence that separates him from the Jewish prisoners. He doesn't realize what is happening. He meets on the other side of the barbed wire a boy called Shalomo. He believes it is a game he thinks all the children are locked up, and playing a game. Bruno and his sister are tutored at home. The sister is falling for a German Soldier. She is 12. The tutor is indoctrinating the Nazi beliefs on to the children. Which Bruno doesn't understand.
Later on in the story, Sholomo is brought into Bruno's house to clean the wine glasses. "Because his hands are very small." Bruno talks to him like he a friend. In walks in the German soldier, in the mean time he offers him food. The soldier asks Bruno do you know the boy. Bruno denies that he knows him and tells him he never gave him permission to take the food. Bruno feels terrible that he didn't stand up for his friend. Bruno lookd for his friend every day. He finally does come out to the fence. Bruno sees his friend with a black eye with dried blood on his face. He apologizes, and asks can you forgive me. Which Sholomo does forgive him. Spoiler****************************************Don't go any further unless you plan not to see the movie.
Sholomo is worried he can not find his father. In the meantime Bruno realizes if he digs under the fence he can get through. Bruno volunteers to help Sholomo find his father. Bruno reminds him for the next day to bring him a pair of striped Pajamas.
The next day Bruno switches his clothes to the striped Pajamas and goes under the barbed wire fence. He thinks of it as a game. His family starts panicking, where is Bruno they realize that he has gone into the garden and to the "farm". In the meantime the father told the children they have to move with their mother till after the war has ended. He tells them it is for the best. Bruno goes to the barbed wire to say goodbye. Which he then decides to go under the barbed wire to help his friend find his father. Bruno walks a little while in the camp. When he reaches the middle of the camp, he starts to think that this was not the best idea. He wants to back out, but changes his mind. He goes into the barracks, and then everyone is rounded up for a "Shower" Sholomo and Bruno are in the shower together.
And Die together. The mother and Father and sister are too late.

I am not sure how I feel about this movie. I would not recommend this for children.
It would give them nightmares. As a Jew this was very hard at the end because it is history. Jews are suppose to die. But a german naive innocent child. I am not sure how I feel. But I will say the acting was very good. What the atory had to say.
If you visit the website, there is a discussion for children and teachers to discuss the book and the movie. A very hard movie to watch to the final conclusion. There was not alot of horror of the treatment of the Jews, but the ending shook me up.
If you have seen the movie leave a comment what your thoughts are.


Barbara Bietz said...

Thank you for sharing you thoughts about The Boy in the Striped Pajamas movie. I know the book has been highly discussed and is somewhat controversial. I would not take a young child to see this movie.

Barbara Bietz

Linda said...

You ask if the book ends the same way. Yes, it does.

Imagination Designs
Images from the Glamor Amour by Irene Alexeeva