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Showing 1-10 of 1,863 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 3,026 reviews
on May 28, 2016
Haunting. Transporting. Devastatingly necessary. I heard the director Mike Nichols say, the following about another movie (Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolf), "This isn't life. This is ABOUT life." That's what a true and moving fiction is. It's more than life. It's about more than life. It's not meant to depict "reality." This film is meant to illuminate so much more about all of us, as humans. You can't stand on one side of the fence or the other, stand at an emotional distance, and watch this film. Or, rather, you can if you tick off your list of "this would never happen, that would never happen, etc." I've watched this film three times over the years. I always have to steel my self. I'm always devastated and somehow renewed. Illumination does that to a person. I couldn't go away from this film, not once in three viewings, without looking inward at myself and outward at the world entire that allowed the Holocaust to happen and claimed to be "innocent" of all knowledge of it's existence. History continues to repeat itself all over the planet. This film depicts the devolution and destruction of innocence--as metaphor, as historical "fact" re-imagined, as mythology, as story told by a master director, and screen writer who captured the heart of the original novel. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! This film gives me hope for humanity. Humane humans created this film. The actors, children and adults, portray our beauty, our cruelty, and our devastating innocence.
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on March 7, 2017
This was a very well-played, well acted film about a subject we have seen and heard much about in the last 30 years or so, but not from this perspective. The actors chosen to be in the film were excellent, especially David Thewlis as the father and extermination camp commandant. Here was a case of someone who appeared to have lost his moral integrity and by the end of the movie he realizes to some extent what this has cost him. Asa Butterfield as his son is very good, considering how young he was when he made this picture. Asa has gone on to do many other pictures and I have enjoyed watching his career grow as he develops into a young adult. I won't give away the ending, except to say it is shocking even though you sense something like it is coming. I still would recommend this film, but only to viewers in their mid-teens or older, it would be too upsetting for young children to see in my opinion.
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on February 6, 2016
This was a very well-acted, haunting movie about two little boys during the Holocaust. My middle school students read the novel as a way to introduce them to the Holocaust. The plot of the novel, as well as the movie, has been criticized as being unrealistic as to the true horrors of the time period; however, the author refers to the book as a "fable" -- it is not historical fiction. My students questioned how this could have happened -- how so many people could be led to follow such evil. Even though there is no profanity and most of the violence is implied, the movie is still extremely intense. Parents should view the movie prior to allowing their children to watch it.
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on October 30, 2015
Outstanding movie in spite of the difficult subject matter. If I were teaching a course in "film" at the college level this would be the number one1 film to explore. The symbolism, foreshadowing, and imagery are well worth exploring. The filmmakers showcase the rise and fall of WWII from the Nazi perspective through the characters. Their movements, dress, and facial expressions tell the tale of a confident Nazi Germany on the rise to a broken and desperate sociopathic group scrambling to finish their horrifying "final solution" with the Allies breathing down their neck. In this film, two young boys, victims of a society spun out of control naturally navigate their own worlds coming together without prejudice in an attempt to salvage a fractured childhood. Their instincts and inner conflict are well documented by the filmmakers who explore the confusing world in which they live. In the end, boys will be boys and in the world created for them by an evil society, they find a way to do exactly what kids do; play, explore, and pretend. Their playful exploration has consequences for them and the architects of the final solution. If ever there was a case of "instant karma," it plays out in this film.
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on January 15, 2017
I first saw this DVD when we rented it. When I saw it on amazon for a low price, I snatched it up. Great film about the Holocaust from a child's perspective. The ending is especially daunting and will leave an impression. The ending says it all. Some say that it wasn't real to life because their were no children in camps. However, others say there were. What's the big deal? It shed light on the Holocaust. Isn't that what it really matters?
Highly recommend for the heart that was put into it.
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on March 19, 2017
A very touching and heartfelt story of a friendship between a Jewish boy and a nazi boy.

Says so much without saying it directly. It does earn its pg-13 rating not in the usual ways such as a lot of cursing or drug use or nudity but by being honest about the perils and losses in war.

It is touching and the first time I really cried. The ending is very powerful. I don't recommend for overly sensitive people.
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on September 17, 2011
By Darrell Stoddard, darrellstoddard@gmail.com

This emotionally wrenching film deserves 10 Stars. Changed my life forever and a major part of my life was spent in motion pictures. The movie will change your life everlastingly too if you open your heart to a simple fictional story of a little German boy who befriends a Jewish boy through the barbed wire fence of a concentration camp.

My heart was ripped out, but I will be a more loving, gracious, forgiving person for having seen this sensitive and also horrifying motion picture. YES, as the reviewers have said: It is "historically inaccurate to the extreme." "It is total fiction." It is "ridiculously contrived." It is "all too absurd." It is "hard to swallow." It is "forced and artificial," and "The actors have British accents instead of German."

One critic posed the question, "Did Bruno's father in the end get what he deserved?" Such moralizing and such criticisms of the film make me wonder if those viewers of the film missed the unanswered questions of the Holocaust. How could it happen? How could so many good people allow it to happen?

The most insightful reviewer said, "What is appalling to me is reading all of the one-star reviews. I now see how the holocaust (shoah) could have taken place. All that is necessary is for a nation to be composed of and ruled by people with no feelings, bereft of human compassion and sensitivity, just like several of the reviewers here."

Great Art (even fiction) reveals to us "things as they really are". Through Bruno and his mother, we see through the eyes of Germans who were totally innocent until they came face to face with with the horrors of the "final solution." Most Europeans accepted the deportation of Jews, some not knowing what would be their fate and others even accepting the fate of Jews because it was so easy to blame Jewish Merchants and Jewish Bankers for World War 1 and for the collapse of the German economy. Savings were totally wiped out. It took 22 million German Marks to buy a loaf of bread. Though not the same, we can understand today how easy it would be to blame all Muslims for 9/11.

Through Bruno's sister we see how easy it was to indoctrinate an entire nation of German youth. A notable exception was the 17 year old Mormon boy, Helmuth Hubener, that resisted the 3rd Reich and was sentenced by a German Court for treason and beheaded by guillotine on October 27, 1942 at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. (See his true story on Wikipedia!)

In this motion picture we see and learn how good men, good fathers, and good soldiers, putting military obedience ahead of even their mothers, wives and children, directed and became the executioners of millions of Jews. Even still photos of all the corpses, and eye witness accounts of the Holocaust do not give us that understanding.

Last, by identifying and seeing through the eyes of an innocent child, we learn from the film what it was like to be ordered into the gas chambers. No other motion picture, book, or document has ever, or ever will, capture that experience or the depth of those feelings like the film "Boy in the Stripped Pajamas."

Would that each viewer could become as a little child (Matthew 18:3), like Bruno, not judgmental, and not critical. The Holocaust (like the film) is hard to believe but the gas chambers to kill and the ovens to burn bodies were real. I've seen them with my own eyes. I've been in the house made sacred by Anne Frank. My next door neighbor was one of the first U.S. soldiers into the Dachau Prison Camp, and my neighbor across the street served in the Danish Underground.

Let us resolve, NEVER AGAIN, not just in five languages, but in all the languages of the world. There were those in Germany that truly did not know what was happening to the Jews, but no other film answers for me how an entire nation could be led by one man to kill, or accept the killing, of so many. I will be forever haunted by the words, "If he had been your Fuehrer, you would have followed him too." Although it is fiction, "Boy In the Striped Pajamas" reveals not the historical truth, but the TRUTH of Nazi Germany as it was.

FOOTNOTE: What follows regarding man's inhumanity to man is presented because HISTORY WILL REPEAT ITSELF IF WE DO NOT KNOW AND UNDERSTAND IT!

People today need to know that Hitler did not invent anti-semitism. It began with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and has never ceased. It is mind boggling to learn that throughout history there have been innumerable and hundreds of attempts in many countries to kill all of the Jews. (See "Pogroms" on Google, then read the Wikipedia account.)

I was shocked beyond belief to read Martin Luther's anti Jewish sentiments published in 1543 (See "On the Jews and Their Lies - Wikipedia" Luther's feelings about the Jews and what should be done to them were as vile and reprehensible, as any words spoken in Nazi Germany. Indeed, Luther's document may have been the blueprint for the Nazi Holocaust.

Seeing history repeat itself so many times makes us wonder if there is hope to save the Jews and the world from so much hate and killing. Pope John VI in 1965 issued his historic "Nostra Aetate" that expresses understanding, forgiveness and love for the Jews and for all religions. Pope John Paul VI states in this history changing document that the death of Christ, "cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today." The age old doctrine behind all of the Pogroms which stated that "all Jews, past, present, and future were collectively guilty of the Crucifixion of Jesus," was officially revoked by a Catholic Pope! EVERYONE should read entirely the "Nostra Aetate" which is one of the most important documents in the history of mankind (It takes just a few minutes to read and can be found on Google)! The current Pope Benedict XVI who was forced to join the Hitler Youth as a child in Nazi Germany (in two books) has made a sweeping exoneration of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus Christ. There is hope for the world! These are history changing actions by two Catholic Popes. It would be well for everyone who wants the world to be a better place to thank Catholics for Pope John VI and Pope Benedict XVI.

We must be ever vigilant against condemning another. "Therefore thou art inexcusable, Oh man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself: for thou that judgest doest the same things." (Romans 2:1). Jews who migrated to Israel after World War 11, themselves committed a Holocaust of the Palestinian people. Tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million were forced into refugee camps. "This is my Land. God gave this Land to me," was not justification for killing the Palestinians!

There is one notable voice in the Middle East that documents the atrocities by all three sides and seeks to reconcile Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Melkite Christian Priest has established a school in Ibillon near Galilee where Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Druze study side by side. More important than their secular studies, students learn to love their enemies. To bring peace to the Holy Land, Elias Chacour's book "BLOOD BROTHERS" SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING FOR EVERYONE.

Two unsung and less known heroes of the Holocaust are Irena Sendler and Raoul Wallenberg. Their stories should be told along with the stories of Oskar Schindler, Corrie Ten Boom, and Anne Frank. Irena Sendler was a Polish Catholic Social worker who saved more than 2500 Jewish Children from the Warsaw Ghetto. If you have any interest in the Holocaust, YOU MUST READ the inspiring story "Life in A Jar - The Irena Sendler Story" on Google. In 2007 when Sendler was still alive, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Al Gore received the prize that year instead.

Raoul Wallenberg is credited with saving near 100,000 Hungarian Jews. At the peril of his life he defied the Nazis innumerable times. Read a summary of Wallenberg's unbelievable courage to save Hungarian Jews on Google: "Profile of a Leader: The Wallenberg Effect." See Wallenberg's complete story in the book "Righteous Gentile" available used from amazon.com from a number of book dealers for one cent plus $3.99 for shipping and handling. EVERY reviewer gave the book 5 stars! Unlike Schindler, Wallenberg had only his humanity and no ulterior motive in saving Jews; and he probably saved more Jews than Schindler.

Few Motion pictures can compare to the book. The motion picture "Wallenberg A Hero's Story" is even equal to the book "Righteous Gentile"! Both the book and the movie will lift your very being to heaven. Man at his best is so good, so noble, so Christlike, that we would fain throw a cover over men and women when they are less. Mankind needs Hero's like Wallenberg to lift and redeem us. It will make anyone a better person to make the book or the motion picture a part of their life.

See all of my Reviews. I write only about books, events, or motion pictures that have changed the course of history or unforgettable books or motion pictures that will totally change peoples lives.

Darrell Stoddard, Founder - Pain Research Institute and saveusa.biz
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on May 1, 2017
We watched this as a family. My son had read it in school and wanted to see the movie. I will say after we watched this we talked about it for a few days. It is a movie that moved my boys to think about their world more globally and more about what is important. Be prepared with a tissue and wanting more at the end. The acting was good and the story was well thought out.
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on May 2, 2016
This movie was simply amazing. The two boys that are the stars of this film do such an amazing job of pulling you into their relationship. It's a sad reminder of the history, and ugliness of humans, and the beauty and innocence of children. The movie is a teaching tool to show that children are taught to hate, and to be bigots. It's learned behavior not something that is built into humans.

With it's 90 minute run time this movie packs a powerful punch that will stick with you long after it's over.
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on March 4, 2015
I thought it was a story that could have happened; in any case, it was thought-provoking at least. It plays out all sides of emotions of people who were there who ignored what was going on either by choice or by naiveté or tender age, or as we all saw it (through of us in America) that the non-Jewish Germans were all hard core sadists committing acts of atrocity as though they loved it and had inherent evil, or were afraid of reprisals and followed it anyway. We all ask ourselves what would we have done? Would we do whatever it took on either side to survive? Would we have committed atrocities to survive? What would we have done? How far would we go? From both sides of the coin? We would like to believe we would have helped the Jews and brave the German reprisals despite the consequences. In France would we have been part of the resistance? Would we have moved to a neutral country? I would like to believe we would do something courageous. We could look at Afghanistan and the continued practice of genocide for years and the Taliban's continued terrorism and how much have we helped? I know my son has been there & in Iraq in the Marines, and I still can't say if we are helping enough. Or we could ask ourselves why this has gone on and on. What is the saying about 'all it takes for evil to grow is that good men do nothing'? I know that is not the quote but something like that. Hugely sad ending, but if were true, I bet the father would take a second look at his actions and observation of atrocities going on around him with a less that blind eye from that point on......................
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