Holocaust-era film an emotional ride

‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas’
Rated PG-13
Grade: A
Opens Nov. 14

An emotional pummeling from a Holocaust film is certainly expected and “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” delivers. Yet it completely avoids any onscreen violence by telling the story through the eyes of an adventuresome 8-year-old boy.

Bruno – the stunningly blue-eyed Asa Butterfield – is unhappy that his family must relocate to the countryside because of his father’s (David Thewlis) prestigious promotion as commander of a Nazi concentration camp. As the family settles into their isolated home, Bruno spies a group of strange “farmers” in matching pajamas through his bedroom window and is disappointed when his parents uncomfortably dismiss the strange neighbors as inappropriate playmates.

Bruno soon grows bored and sneaks into the forbidden back garden, eventually making his way to the edge of the “farm.” Seated on the other side of the electrified fence is Schmuel (Jack Scanlon), an emaciated Jewish boy Bruno’s age. The boys soon find escape from their vastly different troubles and form a friendship.

From here the story patiently takes us through the deterioration of a family living in the unspoken presence of hatred and death under the command of the family’s patriarch. Bruno’s mother (Vera Farmiga) crumbles emotionally, his older sister (Amber Beattie) molds herself into the Nazi ideal, and Bruno begins to doubt that his father is, in fact, one of the good guys.

The film’s lack of “German-ness” (particularly the universal use of British accents) detracted from the necessary historical context of the story. But its beautiful, understated tone, including the entirely implied violence taking place inside the camp, makes the ending all the more horrifying.

Related posts:

  1. Holocaust survivor knows something about terror
  2. Shyamalan serves up another boilerplate film
  3. Law firm offers assistance to Holocaust survivors
  4. Hong Kong born actress premieres film in Del Mar
  5. MCASD to host teen film workshop

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=4236

Posted by on Nov 13, 2008. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RSS LA JOLLA NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • Rancho Santa Fe Republican Women to present candidates forum
    The Rancho Santa Fe Republican Women, Fed., members will present Republican candidates for federal, state and local races at their “Best Party in Town” event from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, at the Morgan Run Resort & Club. The candidates have been invited to speak and meet with the voters. Cost is $25; light refreshments will be served. Please send check […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe Library to present Alzheimer’s series
    Taking aim at Alzheimer’s, the county Board of Supervisors in May launched the Alzheimer’s Project, an effort to create a regional strategy to improve caregiver resources and to support research efforts to find better treatments and ultimately, a cure for the disease. […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe Invasive Plants and Better Alternatives
    By Steve Jacobs, Nature Designs In California we are lucky to live in a mild climate that allows us to grow amazing landscapes. Because of this mild climate, plants from other parts of the world often thrive; and some grow so well they become known as invasive. These plants ‘jump fences’ and ‘throw seeds.’ Their […]