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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Directed by Mark Herman
Rated M

Reviewed by Matt Gees, Vision Radio drive time presenter

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a challenging look at the humanity of the holocaust.
Set mainly in an unnamed country area, the family of a German SS soldier are relocated when their father is promoted and appointed to a new job in the countryside.
The central character, an eight-year-old boy named Bruno, is intrigued to discover a farm nearby where all the farmers wear striped pyjamas.
As the story unfolds, it is revealed that the neighbouring farm is actually a Jewish work camp of which Bruno’s father is the commandant.
Unhappy at only seeing his front yard and with a thirst for adventure, Bruno disobeys his mother and explores the woods behind the house and in doing so, discovers the truth about “the farm”.
On the other side of a high, electrified fence is a young boy the same age as Bruno.
The two boys strike up a friendship and form a bond.
Their friendship becomes the main plot of the movie, but there are underlying sub plots.
Some of these include the change in Bruno’s 12-year-old sister from innocent young girl to a product of the Nazi propaganda; the real work of the commandant at “the farm”; the human side of the Jews on the other side of the fence; and the reactions of the commandant’s wife and parents to his real work.
Although based on a novel aimed at teenagers and not containing any coarse language, nudity, or overwhelming violence, parents should be cautious about sending their children to this film unsupervised.
In-depth discussion about some of the themes in the film should occur beforehand.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was released in cinemas nationally in April.