While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being protected by her adoptive parents.
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 Mayor'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
Death doesn't narrate the film as much as he does in the novel. See more »
Rudy Steiner wears a winter jumper with a metal zipper. Buttons on children's clothing are much cheaper and much more likely with war-time metal shortages in 1942 Germany. The zipper was mostly seen as a novelty item in this era. 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.
See more »
No extended fight scenes. No unnecessary pyrotechnics. Simply a story of ordinary people conducting themselves in extraordinary fashion when faced with the hell of Hitler's Third Reich and World War II.
The literary vehicle of Death as the Narrator is a masterstroke, as is the overall emphasis of words/books/art overcoming evil.
And it's all done with compassion for children at their best and most vulnerable, and adults bypassing the convention of the era to display kindness, caring and understanding.
An understated classic, there aren't enough movies like this being produced.
And that's a damn shame.
244 of 295 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?