Set during WWII, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.
Young Bruno lives a wealthy lifestyle in prewar Germany along with his mother, elder sister, and SS Commandant father. 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. Shmuel papa disappears and Shmule bring back a striped pajamas. Bruno puts them on and they both go look for Shmuel papa Written by
Rupert Friend initially turned down the role as Lieutenant Kotler because he was shocked by the violent nature of his character. He said, "I mean, it's not particularly flattering to be associated with a group of people who attempted to exterminate an entire race. I'm not a shouty person, and I'm not violent either. The character scared me. But then I realized that that was probably the point. It was about putting a human face on these atrocities." However, Friend struggled throughout filming and became withdrawn after shooting the more harrowing scenes. See more »
Ralf, Kotler and the other soldiers would also wear Nazi armbands which they don't in this film. See more »
Mum, what's going on?
Mm, your father's been given a promotion.
That means a better job.
I know what promotion is.
So we're having a little party to celebrate.
He's still going to be a soldier though, isn't he?
[...] See more »
Quotation displayed before the opening titles: "Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows - John Betjeman" See more »
I'm a man's man, and it takes something really exceptional to break my emotionless machine persona. This film ripped me apart and reminded me (and my partner) of humanity inside even the most hardened man.
Perfectly weighted film in every way, from pace to acting and all framed with a wonderful score. The subtlety of the looks passing between the actors and a finale that ensured silence until the final credit rolled, makes this one of the best films i've seen in a long time.
This is the first review I have never written and i cannot think of a better way to have opened my account.
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