Tonight the kids and I were able to see a premier of the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (1 hr. 33 min). The movie is based on the book of the same name by John Boyne, which I actually had never heard of until tonight. The cast is one that I didn't recognize, except for the father (David Thewlis -- plays Prof. Remus John Lupin in the Harry Potter movies)
The movie begins in Berlin, Germany in the 1940's, and the story is told through the eyes of 8 yr. old Bruno, the son of a German "soldier." When his Nazi father gets a promotion to commadant, it takes the family to a desolate area where the lonely boy finds nothing to do and no-one to play with. Crushed by boredom and compelled by curiosity, Bruno ignores his mother's repeated instructions not to explore the back garden and heads for the "farm" he has seen in the near distance. There he meets Shmuel, a boy his own age who lives on the other side of the barbed wire fence. The friendship with "the boy in the striped pajamas" leads to some very unforseen consequences. Watching Bruno's mother and sister change from the beginning of the movie to the end was interesting also.
I would love to write more about this movie, but I don't wish to spoil it for anyone....and any more information would. The move is PG-13 for mature themes....there is NO SEX, NO BAD LANGUAGE, and NO SEEN VIOLENCE. The couple bits of violence happens off screen, but you do know what happens.
As I said, both my kids went with me. Because of the PG-13 rating, I hesitated to take Angela. She's only 11. However, Angela will be studying Europe and WWII later this year, and she did study WWII to some extent last year. I will say that she was crying by the end of the movie....and she totally understood it. There were some much younger children sitting in front of us....they had no business being there.....and they didn't understand the movie.
The kids and I did discuss the movie all the way home, which I thought was a good thing. Both kids thought seeing the movie was a good idea....I can't say they were "happy"...it's about WWII.....war isn't happy. Christopher thinks his American history class should see this one, once they get to the WWII era. Angela thought it would be beneficial for her class also.
Overall, the movie was done very well. You really get a feel for the era...and seeing the war from a German boy's perspective is very different than other WWII movies. I would recommend seeing the movie, but please don't take younger children. It isn't appropiate.