Quick Review:The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

We’re not supposed to be friends, you and me. We’re meant to be enemies. Did you know that?

A touching film about war and humanity through the eyes of a young child who’s father is sent to run a Nazi concentration camp during WWII. The young boy, wonderfully played by Asa Butterfield, sees a “farm” in the distance where all of the “farmers” are wearing pajamas. One day he ventures out and befriends a boy (also wonderfully played by Jack Scanlon) on the other side of the barbed wire fence.

Conflicted by the cruel things he hears and is taught vs his interactions and genuine connection with his new friend, he embarks on a path that changes the lives of everyone. This movie really opens your eyes to the fact that hate is a taught and learned emotion, not something that you are born with…our differences are only skin-deep and oftentimes superficial and made up. There is so much we adults can learn from the innocence and naivete of children!

The entire cast, including David Thewlis, Vera Farmiga and Rupert Friend, was great, but Asa Butterfield definitely stood out for me. Just be prepared for the gut punch at the end of the film!!! I timed this all wrong and watched it right before I hosted a “Girl’s Night” at my place…so all in my emotions, I had to drown that out with lots of wine and some episodes of Nailed It so I could get back in form and dry my eyes for the night. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it now smh (I’m a water sign…I cry at commercials…don’t judge me)…but that the sign of a great film, right? Gets you thinking and leaves a lasting impact…and this one definitely is a film I won’t forget. Currently streaming on Netflix.

Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.

– John Betjeman