Through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, a forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.
Bruno an eight-year-old boy from Berlin, Germany is moved with his mother, Elder sister, SS Commander father to a countryside in Europe where his father powers over a concentration camp for Jews. Bruno went "exploring" one day and befriended a child his age named Shmuel. Shmuel was a Jew. The boy became good friends until Bruno was scheduled to move to a new location.
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 However, Friend struggled throughout filming and became withdrawn after shooting the more harrowing scenes.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 »
The Kommandant (SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lt.-Col.) is wearing the "Blut-Orden" (Blood Order) on his right breast pocket which was awarded SS members who took part in the Munich Beer-Hall Putsch of 1923. However, on his right forearm he should also have the "alter Kämpfer (old fighter)" chevron, similar to a corporal's stripe, which was awarded to all SS members who served prior to 1933 - which as a veteran of the Putsch the Kommandant was supposed to wear. 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 »
One of the most affecting pieces of Cinema released in years
There are more dramatic and more philosophical pieces of cinema dealing with this very emotive subject, but few deal with the horror, futility and falsehood of the "final solution" with such clear simplicity. We see the lead characters as both humans and monsters we see internal conflict and how they each come to terms with their conflicts, above all we see how futile their conclusions were.
There will be the predictable comparisons with Schindler's List but you might also want to compare this movie to "The Counterfeiters" which also deals with the conflicts necessary to survive. Watching this movie I kept being drawn back to Primo Levi's book "If This is Man" the story of his time as a prisoner suffering from this evil.
The great success of the film is its simplicity, it does not seek to over analyse but simply allows the development of the characters to tell the story.
One of the contributers spoke of how he was in screen 9 (if I remember correctly) in Cineworld Dublin - I was in Screen 11 and I can had the same experience, the film ended and no one moved, all were in a state of shock, no, sorrow. This is not a film for young children, but older children and adults familiar with the evil addressed in this movie should go and see it. This movie deserves great success. I rate it 9 out of 10 and would have given it a perfect score except for some small technical questions, but none that take away from this fantastic piece of cinema - All associated with this movie should be rightly proud of there work and if any of you read these comments - Thank You!
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