Liddy went to the mainland last night, hooking up with her brothers & heading in to town for the N.Z V Aussie league match. She came home on the last boat, by which time I was rolling with tiredness. She was both apologetic & cross. They had just missed the 11 o'clock & there is nothing more infuriating than watching the boat chugging home without you. It also meant a long cold wait on the jetty.
After a day out Lid likes to take things quiet & easy her 2nd day off. After all we had the new Jonathon Creek series to watch. It was not to be. Dearest needed batten screws & after some consideration & considerable negotiating we opted to cancel piano & go get the screws early then catch a movie Ditz was keen on seeing ~ The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. A Ditz Pick can be rather alarming & we've watched some doozies of movies thanks to Ditz but this one was a goodie.
First of, this is in no way a children's movie. It is a holocaust movie. Now I know there's been some quibbling about inaccuracies in the storyline ~ no 8/9 year old boys would have been in Auschwitz [& it would be Auschwitz because of the number of crematoriums]; the fence was far too well guarded to let anyone out let alone anyone in but these are small things & do not detract from the terrible symmetry of this movie.
One of the really nice things about this movie is the simplicity with which it deals with a complicated issue. Bruno is the 8yr old son of a death camp commandant. Germany's complicated politics do not concern him. He loves his father. His father is a good man & a hero. What's more he is portrayed in that light ~ but as Bruno learns he is capable of monstrous things.
Removed from his friends in Berlin Bruno forms an unlikely friendship with a boy on the other side of the Auschwitz wire. He learns that fear can make cowards of us all, that we all harbour a monster within ourselves & that there is redemption for past wrongs.
There is no really overt violence depicted on screen; it all occurs off camera with sound effects but this very gentleness makes the final scenes all the more harrowing.
The holocaust is difficult to depict accurately & I understand the need to be sensitive to the memories of those who actually lived out this terrible reality but sometimes fiction conveys truth far better than realism & in this case I think that is true. This is not, as some have said, the story of one Nazi family's personal tragedy. It is the story of the terrible logic of the thinking behind Nazism & the inevitable end that such thinking leads to.
This seems to be one of those films that impact audiences. There was utter silence in the theatre as the final credits rolled. Ditz, who has just finished a study on WWII merely remarked that it wasn't happening now. Well, no, not in Australia & never to that extent but...not a deep philosophical thinker my Ditz. Liddy & I, who saw where it was all heading very early on, were affected differently. Liddy slid further & further down into her seat as the last scenes rolled ~ & they must have been a legal nightmare in themselves to shoot! I was stunned philosophically. If you argue anyone is expendable then all life is expendable, even your nearest & dearest & you get this shattering result.
All in all an interesting little film but don't take the children unless you are really sure they know what the Holocaust did & was & that it discriminated on the basis of age & gender, religion & nationality.