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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (DVD, 2009)

Mark Herman, Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis | Theatrical release: 2008 | Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
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Movie synopsis
Based on the novel by John Boyne, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS is a wrenching Holocaust story about a young German boy and his forbidden friendship with a Jewish child. Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is living a charmed life in Berlin as the son of a high-ranking Nazi soldier, when his father (David Thewlis) is suddenly transferred to a job out in the country. Bruno, as well as his sister Gretel (Amber Beattie) and mother (Vera Farmiga) must all join him at his new post. Bruno is lonely and confused by his new surroundings, and he doesn't understand why he can't wander the grounds or play at a nearby farm. The "farm," of course, is a concentration camp, though Bruno doesn't know this. He soon sneaks away to explore, and meets Shmuel (Jack Scanlon) a prisoner of the camp. Shmuel is eight, the same age as Bruno, and the two form a timid, careful friendship, playing checkers and catch through the barbed wire fence. Bruno knows that his friendship with Shmuel is dangerous, but after witnessing brutal violence perpetrated against some very kind people, he has begun to question the Nazi doctrine of hate. He is no longer sure what to make of his soldier father, whom he once believed to be a hero. When he learns that Shmuel is in trouble, he vows to help him, and together the boys form an outrageous plan that culminates in the film's devastating climax.Farmiga and Thewlis put in excellent performances, while Scanlon and Butterfield, are equally impressive, doing a fine job of carrying the weight of such a heavy film. The BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS is a deeply moving and--it must be said--disturbing movie. But it is a remarkable story, told with masterly intelligence and grace., In this heartbreaking drama from Mark Herman (LITTLE VOICE), two young boys become friends in the midst of World War II. But their friendship is not an average one; a barbed wire fence separates the pair, one who is the son of a Nazi, and the other who is a prisoner in a concentration camp.

Product Details
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 786936749274

Additional Details
Genre:Dramas
Format:DVD

eBay Product ID: EPID71808024

Editorial reviews

4 stars out of 5 -- "Mark Herman's adaptation of John Boyne's novella succeeds....Both Vera Farmiga and David Thewlis furnish their parental roles with real humanity."
Empire - Ian Nathan (10/01/2008)

3.5 stars out of 4 -- "THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS adds another poignant tale to the canon of Holocaust movies....It is also a notably faithful rendering of John Boyne's novel, told from the perspective of a young boy."
USA Today - Claudia Puig (11/07/2008)

"[A]n affecting drama that refuses to soft-pedal its harrowing conclusion."
Los Angeles Times - Sheri Linden (11/07/2008)

"THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS is not only about Germany during the war, although the story it tells is heartbreaking in more than one way."
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert (11/05/2008)

3 stars out of 4 -- "[T]he power of the story and the performances -- young Butterfield amazes -- is indisputable."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (11/13/2008)

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Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 87 user reviews

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Created: 03/10/09

"LINES MAY DIVIDE US, BUT HOPE WILL UNITE US."

Review For: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (DVD, 2009)

Features Actors:Asa Butterfield,David Thewlis,Vera Farmiga,Jack Scanlon
Running Time:94 Min.
Rating:PG-13

Written, directed and adapted by Mark Herman from the children's bestseller by Irish novelist John Boyne, The Boy In The Striped Pajamas is told through the eyes of Bruno (Asa Butterfield). He's the eight year old son of a Nazi commander (David Thewlis) who is uprooted from his Berlin home and relocated with his family to a villa in the countryside where Dad oversees a nearby concentration camp. While his father is sworn to secrecy about not revealing the nature of his job there, Mom (Vera Farmiga) is increasingly aware of the horrors surrounding them, but pretends not to notice.
Bruno, on the other hand is full of questions, and his immense curiosity along with his loneliness, isolation and boredom leads him to wander off on an adventure to locate the source of that black, horrid smelling smoke-filled sky. Not to mention his perplexed notions about all those peculiar adults around him, including why the people over at what is described to him as a farm, wear pajamas all day, while a reviled Jew who toils as a servant in their home, says he's a doctor but would rather peel potatoes.
And though forbidden to venture outside the home, Bruno sneaks off to the farm, where he discovers a ragged boy his own age named Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), who also wears those strange, identical striped pajamas. And certain that Shmuel must be having much more fun on the other side of that barbed wire fence than he, Bruno fetches cakes smuggled from his kitchen for the famished lad, so that he may have an alluring pair of those pajamas too. And perhaps even join Schmuel on the other side, where the grass must surely be greener.

Unforgetable movie.Hope this helps you decide.Thanks for reading! :)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 04/08/10

Love and Hate Springs From All Sides and Divides Us All

Review For: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (DVD, 2009)

The only thing in the world I can not fathom is how a regime so evil could concoct such a heinous crime upon a race of people such as was never known as the Jewish people of Germany and surrounding countries. I really don't feel the need to give you a history lesson at the moment, however, our illustrious director Mark Herman of this film has gone overboard to tell this story through the eyes of innocence and that's all it takes to make you want hurl upon the facts.

Young Bruno (Asa Butterfield) lives a sheltered and rich lifestyle in prewar Germany along with his mother Elsa (Vera Farmiga), elder sister, and SS Commandant father (David Thewlis). The family relocates to the countryside where his father is assigned to take command a prison camp. A few days later, Bruno befriends another youth, strangely dressed in striped pajamas, named Shmuel who lives behind an electrified fence. Bruno will soon find out that he is not permitted to befriend his new friend as he is a Jew, and that the neighboring yard is actually a prison camp for Jews awaiting extermination.

Although the concentration camp where the movie is set is never actually mentioned by name throughout the movie, we know it is Auschwitz because it was the only Nazi death camp with 4 crematoria. The SS officers are discussing the building's construction in the Commandant's office when Bruno's mother interrupts the meeting. In the book it is referred to as "Out-With" (coming from the P.O.V. of Bruno, who is only nine years old and can't pronounce some words properly).

he film was handled fantastically and I believe that the feel of the novel was not lost in the translation to screen.

Seeing the film was a lot more intense than reading the book and, even knowing what was coming, I found myself tearful toward and utterly shocked toward the end. Most who viewed the film with me felt similarly and remained silent and still for hours after viewing.

David Thewlis has a extremely strong presence on film and has much to offer us here. Although we happen to know that his role in this film is perhaps not totally ingenious, we have to remember that his character happens to only be at the hands of many who believe in the Fatherland. Without his so-called Hitler, we have to assume that he has nothing, since his entire career depends upon the social welfare of the Fatherland to make his way. If we studied historically the thoughts and minds of the Third Reich, we have to assume that most German soldiers never really knew what was to be asked of them until it was way to late. Vera Farmiga, the Schmuel's mother is shown wearing her wedding band on her right hand. For Germany, this is correct and an excellent accurate detail.

In regards to shooting the final scene, director Mark Herman remarked "It was a nightmare on many levels. He refers to the fact that he had more lawyers than film-makers. He had all of the legalities of kids in amongst grown-up naked people."

Children like Schmuel, under 16, wasn't probably spared the gas chamber, unless they were a twin or were needed for sadistic experiments, usually upon disembarking the cattle car, all women and children were separated for immediate gassing, no tattoo, no record that they ever arrived at all!

Most prisoners weren't allowed to freely roam the camps, everyone was documented & accounted for daily with drawn out roll calls in freezing temps. Why would they bother to tattoo all those people if they weren't going keep up with them?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 07/27/10

A movie and message you'll never forget.

Review For: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (DVD, 2009)

I bought this for a middle school student who is fascinated by WWII history and loved the movie Freedom Writers. I was expecting a Disney-type feel good movie. This wasn't it. But, it was a powerful story of mid-war Germany, with three children actors who gave compelling performances. The storyline follows a German officer who is reassigned to be the commandant of a prison camp where prisoner exterminations are conducted. He moves his family to a home only a stretch of woods away from the camp. The tone in the home is pervasively anti-jew. The 8 year old son of the Commandant, who sees himself as an explorer, sneaks off through the woods and meets another 8 year old boy, this one a prisoner in the camp, hence the striped pajamas. As the two boys continue to meet they experience both friendship and betrayal. The ending of the movie was unexpected brutal, without being graphically so, and left an impression that will not soon disappear. This movie should be required viewing for any student learning about the Nazi Germany Holocaust or ethnic cleansing in any country, while still being a great movie for home viewing, one that you'll want to talk to your kids about after.

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Created: 03/27/09

OUTSTANDING

Review For: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (DVD, 2009)

If this movie does not touch your heart, then you are untouchable..It is a presentation of childhood innocence, and a friendship formed by two boys in a divided world. It is a deeply moving story, one that will remain in my mind and heart for a long time. the story of a German general's curious son,making friends with a boy his own age,through a barbedwire fence, at a Jewish prison camp..but even barber-wire and different clothes doesn't stop their lives from becoming entwined, and a discovery of the anguish that life can hold even for children who just want to be friends. There is a lesson to learn, and you will know this lesson in your heart when the movie ends.
I am a Christian, and my precious doctor is Jewish, but our hearts don't know there is a difference.
I recommend this movie highly ,baby-doll

2 of 2 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 03/27/11

Excelent Movie

Review For: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (DVD, 2009)

Wow... This movie is excelent because is a true history. Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences

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