Posts Tagged ‘evil’


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas >Review

April 6, 2009

We scored free tickets to see this film, but its impact was long-lasting.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a story of Nazi Germany seen through the eyes of eight year old, Bruno. He and his family move from his luxurious home in Berlin to a country estate after his father is promoted in the army. From his bedroom window he can see what looks like a farm but is a concentration camp with his father at its helm. Bruno meets a boy of the same age on the other side of the camp’s fence and the two develop a friendship.

In the film, we are presented with the horror of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, seen chiefly in the father’s actions and attitudes. Bruno slowly develops an understanding of the prejudice towards and the harsh treatment of the Jews.

The story juxtaposes Bruno to his elder sister. She is swept up with the Nazi cause; swooning over soldiers, hanging on every word of her history tutor and holding to her father’s beliefs that the Jews were the enemy and subhuman. Bruno on the other hand is too young to let the propaganda sway him away from the reality of the humanity he sees.

The film is short and uncomplicatedly shot, yet the innocence of Bruno is stark compared to the actions of his father and the suffering of the Jews. This is aided by the brilliant acting of Asa Butterfield as his character goes through the journey from innocence to awareness.

Apart from the terror of the Nazi regime, the thing that struck me was the normality of much of life in Nazi Germany. People were still holding parties and children were playing and going to school. Whenever I get a glimpse into life in Nazi Germany I sometimes ponder if I would have recognised the evil that I was in, or would I have been a patriot and supported the cause. The film certainly shows how ‘natural’ evil can be and how good can sometimes not be recognised. It strengthens my trust that I only see the true good that God is the work of his Spirit and by God’s grace. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas left me saddened by the injustice in the world but all the more longing for the day of justice to come with the return of Christ.