Boy In The Striped Pajamas - Classroom Edition

Boy In The Striped Pajamas - Classroom Edition

4.4 58
Director: Mark Herman, Asa Butterfield, Jack Scanlon, Amber Beattie

Cast: Mark Herman, Asa Butterfield, Jack Scanlon, Amber Beattie


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Based on the best-selling novel by John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas highlights the secret friendship between two unlikely friends - the young son of a Nazi officer and the Jewish boy he encounters. The Classroom Edition of this Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award winning film features exclusive educational material including an exploration of the role


Based on the best-selling novel by John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas highlights the secret friendship between two unlikely friends - the young son of a Nazi officer and the Jewish boy he encounters. The Classroom Edition of this Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award winning film features exclusive educational material including an exploration of the role propaganda played in WWII Germany.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is one of the most unsettling films to emerge in quite some time. Certainly that response might seem appropriate for any film that pertains thematically to a subject as emotionally challenging as the Holocaust, but writer-director Mark Herman's fictional story -- adapted from John Boyne's 2005 novel of the same name -- feels uncomfortable in an ill-advised way. A treatment of Holocaust-related discoveries shot through the eyes of an eight-year-old boy, it presents Nazi horror after Nazi horror, tempered by the irony of an innocent's continual misunderstandings. That alone is an interesting conceit and suggests dramatic promise; the problem, however, is that Herman fails to journey beyond the surface-level realities of his central perspective, which makes his film feel half-developed and poorly conceived, and drives it into sensationalism. The tale itself pertains to Bruno (Asa Butterfield), the eight-year-old son of an unnamed Nazi officer (David Thewlis) and his wife, Elsa (Vera Farmiga). As the film opens, Bruno's dad receives an appointment to relocate the family from Berlin to a country house occupied by Nazi soldiers. The father's role ties directly into the extermination of the Jews; thus, an occupied concentration camp with gas chambers stands a few hundred feet from the house. Spotting the location from his bedroom window, Bruno misinterprets it as a farm, then defies his parents' orders to stay away from the place by visiting the fence, where he encounters a sweet-natured eight-year-old Jewish boy named Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), dressed in a prison uniform (or the "striped pajamas" of the title), whom Bruno believes is involved in some sort of innocent "game" within the "farm." In time, the boys develop a fast friendship that results in tragic consequences. To be certain, this picture does hint at some fascinating themes that the story could have explored, but that makes the movie extremely frustrating, for Herman skirts around the more intriguing notions that lie in the background of the tale. For example, he provides glimpses of Bruno's 12-year-old sister Gretel's (Amber Beattie) gradual indoctrination and brainwashing by the Nazis, and hints that this may on some level be tied to her stirrings of sexual attraction for a cruel Gestapo officer (Rupert Friend). But this subplot gets relegated to a footnote. And the director could easily have extended the narrative, temporally, into an intriguing and gripping look at how a family of brainwashed Nazis copes, on emotional and intellectual levels, with an intense family tragedy that they ultimately bring on themselves. But that simply isn't done here. To his credit, Herman does seem to spend some of the film working toward the theme of the adult world gradually coming into focus through an innocent child's eyes, and the child slipping into permanent disillusionment, much as Gabriele Salvatores's brilliant I'm Not Scared (2003) did. And that represents the most profound, lofty, and noble of the movie's threads; to the extent that the film charts this territory, it renders itself semi-watchable. But Herman never wraps things up by bringing his lead character to a point of credible realization about what he's witnessing; the writer-director seems so eager to leave Bruno in a state of unblemished naivete that the final sequence undermines everything that has come before. We're asked to believe, for example, that Bruno still fails to grasp the horrific nature of the camp or the destructive toll taken on its inhabitants, even after he observes that Shmuel has been physically abused inside of the camp. In the end, Bruno's continued naivete merely looks like a convenient excuse to set up the film's final tragedy. Admittedly, the film does benefit from some stellar performances, notably a four-barreled one by Farmiga, and a lead portrayal by young Butterfield that is magnificently wrought and convincing. These performances deserve better material, however; they should exist at the service of a script with ambitions loftier than merely stirring up indignation and easy sentiment in the audience and underscoring Holocaust barbarity -- which, in the final analysis, is all that the film really seems to be about. The motion picture accomplishes little other than elevating our own sense of human indecency, leaving us with a sense of emptiness and hopelessness while falling into the trap of exploitation. Given its subject, that feels absolutely inexcusable.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Miramax Lionsgate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Asa Butterfield Bruno
Jack Scanlon Shmuel
Amber Beattie Gretel
David Thewlis Bruno's father
Vera Farmiga Elsa, Bruno's mother
Richard Johnson Grandpa
Sheila Hancock Grandma
Rupert Friend Lieutenant Kotler
David Hayman Pavel
Jim Norton Herr Liszt
Cara Horgan maria

Technical Credits
Mark Herman Director,Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Rosie Alison Co-producer
John Casali Sound/Sound Designer
Martin Childs Production Designer
Leo Davis Casting
Benoit Delhomme Cinematographer
Michael Ellis Editor
Mike Ellis Editor
Rodney Glenn Sound/Sound Designer
Pipia Hall Casting
David Heyman Producer
James Horner Score Composer
Christine Langan Executive Producer
Peter Miskolczi Co-producer
Gábor Váradi Co-producer
Natalie Ward Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
1. Opening Credits [4:02]
2. A New Beginning [6:29]
3. Moving Day [5:32]
4. Garden Gate [4:44]
5. Falling of the Swing [8:02]
6. Bruno Discovers Camp [6:21]
7. The Cellar [6:50]
8. A Nice Jew [5:55]
9. Where There's Smoke [8:34]
10. Bruno's Guilt [7:42]
11. The Funeral [5:04]
12. A Game of Checkers [2:19]
13. Bruno's Plan [2:11]
14. A Tragic Sequence [6:44]
15. End Credits [4:09]


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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
an eye-opening perspective of the Holocaust thru children's eyes. You will walk away with your heart and soul saddened, yet touched through this compelling presentation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow the book itself was very sad, but the movie just changed the way I thought about the whole plot line. It was so great, I went on my birthday but it wasn't playing anywhere near where I live, so we drove all the way to New Jersey to see it. It was truly worth it.The whole movie was inspiring but those last scenes where so moving that I instantly wanted to watch it again. I highly recommend this movie and the book, both are wonderful!
Midwest_farmwife More than 1 year ago
Our family of four children, my husband and myself, watched this movie as a family. We knew it would not be entertaining like a comedy, but we wanted to see none-the-less. We are very interested in the Holecaust and found this to be an interesting movie since it was filmed from a child's point of view. We all felt it was a well directed and produced movie that holds many truths and characteristics still seen in today's society. We must never let an autrocity like this happen again. Also, we found a common bond with the boys, that through the eyes of youth, there is no discrimination of race, religion, or creed, this was just two little boys who wanted and needed a friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
such beauty and creativity in filming...the two boys are wonderful...the story is haunting..and the ending ....well, it's not what you want. great movie.
sallybrown123 More than 1 year ago
This movie is very sad and heartbreaking. It really depicts the bond between a German boy who is the son of a Nazi officer (Bruno) and a Jewish boy who lives on the other side of the fence (Shmuel). In the end, I found this movie to very captivating and uplifting...
Kinger-From-Bako More than 1 year ago
When I sat down to watch this movie, I figured I'd be watching a movie about two boys (from seperate worlds) who meet, form a friendship, and end up symbolizing what became after the war ended. I suprised with where the story went and I think it showed great sacrifice that was made during this time period.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS is a 'compleat' motion picture: even the title states the vision of the film in a subtly powerful way. Based on the excellent novel by John Boyne and adapted for the screen by director Mark Herman, this film has the courage to re-visit the Holocaust from the child's perspective. Not that it covers up the atrocities of that horrid event and time - quite the opposite: in electing to examine that period in history the stance is that of two children, one German son of an officer in Hitler's armed forces and one son of a Jewish captive living with his father in a concentration camp. The juxtaposition of these two eight year old boys separated not only by a fence but by an ideology neither of them can fathom the other's side makes for not only a brilliant film but also an unforgettable emotional experience. Bruno (Asa Butterfield in an extraordinary performance) is eight, his sister Gretel (Amber Beattie) is twelve and the two live with their parents in 1940 Berlin - father (David Thewlis) is a Komandant in Hitler's army and mother (Vera Farminga) is a popular socialite and loving mother. Father is 'promoted' and will be in charge of a new 'position' that means moving from their beautiful Berlin home to a 'home in the country'. Though Bruno doesn't want to leave his friends the family does indeed move - to a cold house next to what Bruno perceives is a farm. The father is forbidden to share his role and the meaning of it with his family, but it soon becomes obvious by the smoke stacks spewing hideously smelling odors into the atmosphere that the 'farm' is a concentration camp. The house servant Pavel (David Hayman), though abused by the father, becomes Bruno's friend when Bruno sustains an injury: Pavel quietly admits to Bruno that despite his 'pajama' uniform from the 'farm' that he practiced medicine in the past. Bored, Bruno explores the forbidden area outside his home confines and finds a barbed wire electrified fence behind which sits Shmuel (Jack Scanlon) who becomes Bruno's friend. Neither lad understands the differences between them until Shmuel is sent into Bruno's household to polish glasses for a party: the armed forces chauffeur Lieutenant Kotler (Rupert Friend) beats the 'little filthy Jew' for eating pastries Bruno has shared with him - a fact that the terrified Bruno denies. The mother discovers the truth about the 'farm' and the smoke stacks and sinks into a depression, loathing that her husband is in charge of such atrocities. Gretel becomes transformed as a Hitler youth under the influence of the children's tutor (Jim Norton) and there are obvious philosophical schisms in the family. Bruno, regretting his treatment of Shmuel, continues to sneak food to him and plans to help his young friend save Shmuel's father: Bruno digs into the 'farm' and the results bring the film to a terrifying and abrupt end. Both young actors give enormously moving performances and the manner in which Herman directs the action underlines the blur of perception many German's had about the reality of the Final Solution. But for what this viewer perceives as the reason the film sustains the powerful message it does is the manner in which it ends. There are no attempts to 'sanitize' this film: it simply ends with a lightning bolt jolt that is one of the most powerful statements in all of ththe many films about the Holocaust. It is simply a brilliant masterpiece of a movie from every aspect of judging it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
STONEHUNTER More than 1 year ago
This film tells the story of a young boy (the son of a Nazi officer who has been sent to take over a extermination camp) . Shortly after arriving He meets another boy who is behind a wire fence and dressed in "stripped Pj's". The boys Don't quite know what goes on at the camp(though the other boy has a little more suspicion than Col's Son). Over the span of a couple of mos.the two build a friendship. but eventually the strain at home takes it's toll on the col.'s family;and they (minus the father are leaving) this leads to a extremely chilling ending. As a Jew of various German and Slavic Decent; This movie Nearly gave me Nightmares. In fact if I had seen this in a theater I would of had to left. Suprisingly this is based on a YA book. as a movie in itself and based on My "Is it worth the Money" system" this Is A "Pay to see Twice" Movie. Peace PRH as A Jew this mov
joemama_23 More than 1 year ago
Wonderful Novel, You Can’t Miss It, It’s Really Heart Breaking The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas It’s a very touching novel. An eight year old German named Bruno becomes friends with a Jewish concentration camp prisoner in World War 2. But Bruno has to be very careful with him visiting the prisoner because his dad It’s a high rank commander of the Nazi. Bruno it’s just like any other little boy that likes to play with friends and toys. He feels like his not going to find new friends when him and his family move in to the new house but at the end he ends up finding a special friend. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas It’s a very great book to read to have an idea how cruel the Germans lived and treated the Jews back in World War 2. As you start reading the book it might be a bit boring but trust me once you get around the fourth chapter your not going to want stop reading not even for a second. Your going to start caring so much for Bruno that your going to be worrying about him, hoping he gets in no type of troubles. I believe the message of the author was to let people know that no matter what raise you are, you shouldn’t be treated any different.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The boy in the striped pajamas is a touching movie about friendship and courage. This story is set in the 19040's during World War 2. Hitler has placed all Jews in concentration camps, including Auschwitz. When Bruno's father ( A German), mother, sister. and him move to a place called Out-With ( Which turns out to be Auschwitz), he ignores his mother and wanders into the woods were he finds a fence,its one of the concentration camps were Bruno finds a friend named Leon. Soon Bruno finds about the camp and the Jews, and how his father is really the bad guy. When Leon tells Bruno about his father's gone missing, Bruno makes a plan to put on some striped pajamas and seeks under the fence to help find Leon's father. When they enter the adult men's cabin they are shoved into the crowed and are promised a shower. The boys both go into the room with the other men, but instead of getting a shower. The Germans pore in gas and kill them all including Bruno and Leon. This movie is very sad but very good. Hope you watch it and read the book!
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
One theme in this book is that anybody can become friends even if you are different. When reading this book, Bruno, a nine year old boy, encounters a few problems. His father is forcing them to move. Bruno won¿t be able to see his best friends ever again. Later on, at this place he calls Out-With he goes exploring and finds another boy, his age. Shmuel, was his name, and they became friends. But Shmuel was a little different than Bruno. Shmuel wore striped pajamas and his head was shaved. He lived on the other side of the fence. Another theme in this book is innocence. Both boys don¿t know what is really happening at the camp and in Germany. Their innocence allows them to become friends. They are just boys that don¿t understand what really goes on at the camps like Auschwitz. The themes in this book are things you should always remember.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it.It was the best.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very touching story and realistic. Hard to stop thinking about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This movie was absoultely breath taking. The movie itself was absoultely a masterpiece. I love bruno and shumel. I can't believe something so horribe happened in history. I hope these kinds of fenses are knocked down. Great movie, emotional on last part.
ClaudiaAZ More than 1 year ago
I don't even know where to begin on this one. It is the world of good vs. evil. It is also the reality of relationships, family secrets and the consequences of both. I would highly recommend this movie for anyone 13 and over. It would be a good discussion for those who are studying history - WWII.
TiffanyAK More than 1 year ago
This is an extremely good movie. It somehow manages to be simultaneously beautiful and tragic, innocent and terrifying. Doing what no film has ever done before, it shows the Holocaust through the eyes of an innocent 8-year-old German boy. Though young Bruno may not understand the events unfolding around him, the viewer certainly will. While little or nothing is directly shown (making it an excellent means of introducing younger viewers to the history of the Holocaust), you have no trouble knowing what is happening. I loved the shooting style used in this film, as it successfully captures the innocent view of a child during one of the darkest periods in world history. This also serves to make it even more disturbing, though also more real, as you see Bruno attempt to make sense of what is going on in his world. Then, if all that wasn't enough, the whole film comes to a close with one of the hardest hitting endings ever done on film. My mother and I both were crying throughout, and were left off staring in wide-eyed terror. I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone and everyone. It isn't a happy movie, but it's an important one. I now plan on reading the book as well.