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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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. Written by
Bruno's parents are named Ralf and Elsa, but in the credits of the film they are listed as 'Mother' and 'Father'. This is a tribute to the novel, in which the narrative focuses solely on Bruno's point of view. See more »
"The story mixes up the German Wehrmacht (army) and the SS (Hitler's paramilitary "protective" forces). While the Wehrmacht was not directly involved in the holocaust (though they committed war crimes and killed civilians), the SS was in charge of the concentration camps. Bruno's father's uniform is a mix of Wehrmacht and SS. The Wehrmacht uniforms were green, whereas SS uniforms were black and had the skull ("Totenkopf") symbol on the cap." Incorrect: the black "allgemeine SS" uniform, so beloved of Hollywood because of its iconographic qualities, was discontinued during the war. On the green 1940-1945 SS uniforms, the black colour was only retained on the peaked cap bands, the collar patches, as underlay for badges and on some varieties of shoulder board pipings. Camp Guards wore copper-brown uniform piping, the "waffenfarbe", denoting the camp guards branch. Just look at the original pictures of uniformed SS guards in the camps from the period 1940-1945. 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 »
My fiancé and I purchased tickets for a special advanced screening of this movie during the Carnegie Film Festival in Dunfermline, Fife. I didn't realise, but we were one of the first people to see it. I will try and not spoil it and keep the review very simple and straight forward.
The film is mainly shot through the eyes of Bruno played by Asa Butterfield growing up in war time Germany during the holocaust. After relocating at the will of the German Army, the film then centres on the friendship between Bruno and Shmuel (Jack Scanlon). I will end it there as I don't wish to spoil the rest of the film.
Putting to one side the fact that everyone has a flawless English accent (which does make it difficult to hate them at first), the cinematics, sound, editing and above all acting are a credit to the British film industry.
Asa Butterfield is fine young actor and I'm sure will be destined for even greater things in the future.
As I mentioned above, I won't give anything away, but I will say that this is the first time I have been to the Cinema and everyone sat quiet right up until the end of the credits.
Please, please see this film. It will remain with you for a long time.
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