September 10, 2008, - 9:38 am

Movie I’m Really Looking Forward to

By Debbie Schlussel
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****
On Friday, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” debuts in theaters throughout the United Kingdom (with “Pajamas” spelled in the European “Pyjamas”). It comes to American theaters in early November. It’s sad that it will be mostly confined to smaller arthouse theaters because “Pajamas” looks like a great movie.
Based on the worldwide bestseller of the same name by Ireland’s John Boyne, the movie is about Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the Nazi commander general of Auschwitz, which he knows nothing about. He and his family are moved to a mansion next to a forest. On the other side of the forest, young Bruno can see from his bedroom window a fence with people in striped pajamas on the other side. Soon, he goes to the forest to play and finds himself at the fence of Auschwitz, where he meets another 8-year-old boy, Shmuel, and soon learns more about his father’s camp. If you’ve read the book, you know there is a very ironic twist at the end of the book, and likewise in the movie.


I don’t know a lot about the historical accuracy of the basis for the story, since I was under the impression that most kids–especially those as young as eight–were immediately exterminated at Auschwitz and never ever got to the stage of the striped pajamas. Still, this fiction novel and movie are important, and I’m sure–if the movie is like the book–entertaining and moving.
Can’t wait to see this. And, of course, G-d-willing, I’ll post my review on its release date. Stay tuned.
boyinthestripedpajamas.jpg

*** UPDATE: Reader Rochel says:

There was in fact a children’s block in Auschwitz. To this day no one knows why the Nazis decided to have one.

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4 Responses

Most of these movies unfortunately whitewash the evil of the Nazis. They make it look like some people were evil Nazis but most of the virtuous German public were not behind them. This is not the truth.
The truth is more like what I once read in a book that a young girl was flushed out of hiding by a Nazi and citizens on a bus who saw this cheered on the soldier that he should shoot her dead in the street.
[FoL: YOU ARE RIGHT. FAR TOO MANY MOVIES DO THIS. YES, THERE WERE A SCANT FEW GOOD PEOPLE, BUT THEY WERE IN THE INFINITESMAL MINORITY, AND THEY WEREN’T NAZIS FOR THE MOST PART.
THE PEOPLE WHO HID MY GRANDFATHER ON HIS FIRST NIGHT IN HIDING BRAGGED TO THEIR NEIGHBORS DURING A CARD GAME THAT THEY WERE GOING TO TURN MY GRANDFATHER IN FOR A BOTTLE OF WHISKEY. HE THANKFULLY OVERHEARD THIS AND FLED.
MOST WERE NOT GOOD PEOPLE, WHICH IS WHY WHAT HAPPENED HAPPENED. BUT IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE–AT LEAST FROM THE TRAILER–THEY ARE MADE TO LOOK NICE IN THIS MOVIE. I’LL KNOW FOR SURE WHEN I SCREEN IT FOR REVIEW. STAY TUNED. DS]

Facts of Life on September 10, 2008 at 9:58 am

“There was in fact a children’s block in Auschwitz. To this day no one knows why the Nazis decided to have one.”
I believe Dr. Mengele wanted these children as guinea pigs.

Witch-king of Angmar on September 10, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Debbie, would you recommend reading the book until this comes out? Have you read it? Thanks
[D: I’VE READ PORTIONS OF IT AND MIGHT TRY TO READ IT IN TOTAL BEFORE THE MOVIE. NOT SURE IF I WILL, SINCE I USUALLY LIKE TO JUDGE A MOVIE ON ITS OWN MERITS. DS]

dm60462 on September 10, 2008 at 2:21 pm

While my little girl was playing trains at Barnes and Noble, I grabbed a copy of “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” and read it. It is a young adult type of a book, so some artistic license was taken. But, I did get the general storyline.
Even for a quick read, that ending hit me like a ton of bricks. I just sat there blinking. There was another scene (among many) that was mondo creepy. Bruno is in his father’s office/study and is asking about the people in the striped pajamas. His father replies that they aren’t people in the truest sense of the term.
Wow. I’m hopping the train downtown for this movie–FOR SURE!!

cirrus1701 on September 11, 2008 at 12:33 pm

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