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Film Review; Boy in Striped Pyjamas

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The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas Movie review Never before has Nazi Germany been depicted like this, through the eyes of a young German boy, as you see his fate unfold. Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is only eight years old when his father is promoted to Commandant of one of history's most horrendous prisons, Auschwitz, where the offenders' only crime was being born. Bruno is taken and cut off from his friends, a curious young mind; he goes exploring and finds the death camp, to what he thinks is a farm in his innocence. He befriends a boy there, Shmuel, they hold the same age and birth-date and they only have one difference, one keeping Shmuel inside the fence and the other keeping Bruno out. So you think of the Nazi's and what immortal crimes they committed against the Jews, you think good versus evil, so to take see the child of a Nazi, who is likely to grow up and hold all of the Nazi views, and accept him as good, and a hero in this tale, is contradictory to what you know and disorientating. So how good is this film? Well it begins screening Berlin in a contented state, despite the soldiers hounding Jews, and the shots of the Jewish Ghetto, Berlin never looked more pleasant. ...read more.


When he'd eventually gotten into the camp Bruno recognized it as being from the film, and realised that it was not true, he got to the huts to see all of these Jews kept in decrepit and cramp conditions, so many of them shoved into one tiny space, no sanitation, no room to breathe and no hope. The setting was moving because real or not, it is wretched to see people being treated in such a horrific way. No more than livestock in an abattoir, were the Jews to the Nazi's and to witness it through the eyes of an eight year old is simply traumatizing. You couldn't actually see how the Jews had to live in the book, not because it was hard to imagine, but because it wasn't described, the film makers had a chance to use their visual advantage over the book to provoke as much emotion as possible and I'd say they did it well in showing the huts. Butterfield's character Bruno had a good effect on the audience showing the na�ve little boy, slow to understand what everything around him meant, wholly matching Bruno in the book, except the book's Bruno seemed more selfish in his actions against Shmuel involving Kotler, the film Bruno has more of a pious fa�ade, you understand more just how scared he was when he betrayed Shmuel. ...read more.


as you notice you feel more for the rich German boy than the persecuted Jews, it doesn't feel right that you should feel that way, but you remind yourself that it's only because you now Bruno and his story. The lighting in the gas chambers are dark representing the cruelty of this, but I noticed more so how that would be the last light they see and how depressing that is. By this time the music had just become a sharp screech, and as the pace got faster it showed time running out. The screen goes black when the chamber doors shut; there is only the sound of the Jews struggling to breath with Bruno and Shmuel in the midst. Then nothing. You're left in silence to absorb the desolation and horror and ultimate rage you feel, so deeply, so strongly, so powerfully. It all feels so real, as you the see the panning backwards of the gas chamber showing the pyjamas on the floor, confirming the deaths. I think the ending was effective in provoking the right emotions prior to the massage the book gives out, but part of the message the book gives out, about it couldn't happen again in this day and age, was missed out entirely. Overall the film was successful, in getting people to think, especially the teenage minds it was aimed to. ...read more.

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