In 1940's Germany, eight-year-old Bruno (Butterfield), the son of a Nazi prison camp commandant (Thewlis), and his family move from a comfortable home in Berlin out to the country where they will live on a "farm." Bruno questions his parents about the people working the fields he can see from his new bedroom window, wondering why they all wear striped pajamas. When his parents answers are inadequate, Bruno sneaks out to the far reaches of the farm, where he meets and befriends a boy his own age, Shmuel. Their circumstances seem equally confusing to both boys as they build a bond through the barbed wire fence. The story unfolds primarily from Bruno's perspective until the final scenes, which begin to switch to Shmuel's point of view. Poignant and timeless, the film is primarily directed at a young audience and serves to point out how easily people accept evil when they elevate some purpose above basic morality. Adapted from John Boyle's 2006 novel of the same name.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas will undoubtedly pull many a heartstring and make many an audience member shed a tear, but, with a premise and execution this hollow and manipulative, I beg you, don't fall for it. Don't give into filmmakers who know that children in peril and Holocaust ...Read More