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
This is the tale of the Book Thief, as narrated by death. And when Death tells a story, you really have to listen. It's just a small story really, about, amongst other things: a girl+an accordionist+some fanatical Germans+a Jewish fist fighter+and quite a lot of thievery. See more »
Liesel's book theft is explored more in the book, and the Mayor's wife even tries to catch her doing it; a deleted scene does have Liesel and Rudy stealing a book with her watching them. See more »
During the September 1939 scene, a boy on a bicycle holds a newspaper and excitedly exclaims Hitler has declared war. This is factually incorrect. Britain and France both officially declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939. Germany did not declare war on either nations. Hitler was hoping both Britain and France would come to the negotiating table as they had done previously over Czechoslovakia (The 1938 Munich Agreement). This led to a period known as 'The Phoney War' when both side did little after the fall of Poland. 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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