Directed by: Mark Herman
Starring: Asa Butterfield (Bruno), Vera Farmiga (Mother), David Thewlis (Father), Jack Scanlon (Shmuel), Rupert Friend (Kurt Kotler), Amber Beattie (Gretel)
Language: English (Eng Subs)
Genres: Nazism, Childhood
Plot – Spoilers:
A Nazi officer who’s rising up the ranks, moves to the countryside with his family that includes his 8 year-old son Bruno and an older daughter. Bruno is bored in the new house with no friends and often wanders outside – something that’s been strictly forbidden by his parents. On the other side of the woods, he finds a concentration camp that he thinks is some sort of farm with workers. There, he befriends a Jewish kid and the two begin to regularly meet.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas attempts to tackle the Holocaust from the POV of a Nazi family whose members fall into a spectrum in their distaste for Jews – Bruno believes Jews are the enemy with some good apples among them, Mother is fine with the Jews being shunted into camps but can’t reconcile to gassing them, the daughter is evolving in her ideas, and Father can’t afford to think, as he’s now in charge of the camp.
Unlike a lot of Holocaust movies that seek to humanize Jews in contrast to the Nazi narrative, here you have the humanization of a Nazi by flinging tragedy at him. And this caused the movie to be criticized by some, for channeling the audience’s sympathy towards the dead German kid, while fading out his Jewish peer who also died with him.