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In 1938, the young girl Liesel Meminger is traveling by train with her mother and her younger brother when he dies. Her mother buries the boy in a cemetery by the tracks and Liesel picks up a book, "The Gravediggers Handbook", which was left on the grave of her brother and brings it with her. Liesel is delivered to a foster family in a small town and later she learns that her mother left her because she is a communist. Her stepmother, Rosa Hubermann, is a rude but caring woman and her stepfather, Hans Hubermann, is a simple kind-hearted man. Liesel befriends her next door neighbor, the boy Rudy Steiner, and they go together to the school. When Hans discovers that Liesel cannot read, he teaches her using her book and Liesel becomes an obsessed reader. During a Nazi speech where the locals are forced to burn books in a bonfire, Liesel recovers one book for her and the Major's wife Ilsa Hermann witnesses her action. Meanwhile Hans hides the Jewish Max Vandenburg, who is the son of a ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When first arriving at the school, a large poster with many faces can be seen. This is a replica of an accurate period piece, a poster depicting the "ideal" Aryan phenotypes according to the region. Painted by two artist with racial obsession, these posters were placed in every school, and students are forced to memorize them. See more »
While in the basement, Hans comments that the snowman will not melt because "it's freezing down here," yet no character's breath can be seen in the air, despite the fact that all are breathing heavily. See more »
One small fact: you are going to die. Despite every effort, no one lives forever. Sorry to be such a spoiler. My advice is when the time comes, don't panic. It doesn't seem to help.
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This is a flat out amazing film. It's nuanced, extremely thoughtful and features some of the strongest performances of the year. If I had a vote, we'd get another young teenage girl nominated for "best actress" in a lead role for Sophie Nelisse's amazing work. Everyone's work here is award worthy. Sure, the subject matter may seem like a rehash (The Diary of Anne Frank"/"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas"/The Pianist") but it really isn't. It's fresh, and packs the most emotional impact of any film that I've seen all year. Captivating and extremely powerful, the film is hauntingly beautiful. It moves at an effortless pace which allows the viewer to become immersed in the realities of Liesel's situation. That pace may not be for everyone but I found it to be perfect. Everything breaths properly and every connection made is heartfelt and meaningful. The literary vehicle of death as the narrator really is a masterstroke and works perfectly. It starts the film and finishes but is never intrusive.
I honestly feel this film is an instant classic. It really stayed with me after watching it and I'm still moved by its impact.
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