Friday, December 12, 2008

I don't usually get too excited about movies,...

...nor do I generally feel the need to blog about any of them. That said, every once in awhile, a movie comes along that I feel everyone should see. I saw such a movie recently. I wore my WWII dress uniform, and Lori wore a 1940's style dress and shoes. We went to the Majestic Theatre to see The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I'm very glad we did!

For those unfamilair with this title, it is about the Holocaust, but it is done entirely through the eyes of an 8-yr.-old boy, Bruno. Bruno is the son of a German officer. When the movie begins, Bruno and his family appear to live comfortably in Berlin. Bruno's father shortly receives word that he will be earning a promotion, and that his new job will require the family to move into the country.

The move at first doesn't go well with Bruno, who is an adventuresome sort with a strong desire 'to explore'. His new home provides him with limited territory to explore and no friends. His older sister, Gretel, is losing touch with reality. She is quickly becoming infatuated with a young officer on her father's staff, and also is quickly becoming sucked into the anti-Semetic, Nazi culture being taught by their in-home tutor.

Bruno is fast developing an interest in a nearby facility that he calls 'the farm', a place he can see through his bedroom window. He is confused by the farm because all the workers he sees there appear to be wearing what he calls 'striped pajamas'. Bruno's interest grows, and he yields to his desire to explore. He finds a way out of his yard and eventually makes his way to the farm, where he encounters a young Jewish boy named Schmaul. Though they only can talk through the wire at first, the boys quickly become friends.

As the story unfolds, we become aware that Bruno's mother has no idea of the type of place her husband is in charge of. She finds out by accident, through a sarcastic remark made by another German officer, and is truly disgusted by the revelation. This puts a great personal strain on the relationship she now has with her husband.

Bruno slowly begins to realize that all in his new world may not be as it seems. His friendship with Schmaul grows, and he learns that 'the farm' may not be the wonderful place everyone is being told that it is. He also begins to think his father may not be such a nice guy after all.

As tensions in his parents' relationship increase, it is decided that the family should leave their home and move in with an Aunt in Hamburg. This goes well with Bruno's mother and sister, but not so well with Bruno himself, who now fears losing another friend, Schmaul.

On his last day near the farm, Bruno again sneaks out, this time to go to fulfill a promise he had made to Schmaul. His journey to the farm leads to a very tragic and very unexpected ending. The viewer leaves the theater witha sense of sadness and a feeling of dread, much like those who saw Schindler's List felt when it ended.

So, what am I saying? Go see this movie if you can. Buy it on dvd when it comes out if you can't see it on the big screen. You truly will be educated and entertained, but you'll not at all be amused. Personally, I feel this movie should be required viewing for every high school student in the entire USA, and Lori wholeheartedly agrees!
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