The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Genre:  Drama
Running Time:  94 min.
Release Date: November 7, 2008 (limited)
DVD: March 10, 2009
Netflix: March 1, 2019

Current rating: Rating: 3.52
based on 164 votes and 16 reviews
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Cast: Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Asa Butterfield, Sheila Hancock


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a fictional story that offers a unique perspective on how prejudice, hatred and violence affect innocent people, particularly children, during wartime. Through the lens of an eight-year-old boy largely shielded from the reality of World War II, we witness a forbidden friendship that forms between Bruno, the son of Nazi commandant, and Schmuel, a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed wire fence, their lives become inescapably intertwined. The imagined story of Bruno and Shmuel sheds light on the brutality, senselessness and devastating consequences of war from an unusual point of view. Together, their tragic journey helps recall the millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust.

Director: Mark Herman
Studio: Maple Pictures
Producer(s): David Heyman
Screenplay: Mark Herman
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  • 5 stars "this is a fantastic film. the acting is superb, especially butterfield's portrayal of bruno, who plays an eight-year-old boy with just the right amount of innocence. the cinematography is also great. most of the atrocities happen off-screen, since we see the story through bruno's eyes, but this does nothing to lessen the impact on the audience, who know exactly what is going on. (if the viewer cannot deduce what is going on, they are probably too young to see this movie). as many have noted, the plot is not realistic. to some, the plot may seem very contrived. however, unlike holocaust films such as schindler's list, this film doesn't aim for realism. the movie is highly symbolic, almost"