Sunday, February 10, 2013

Haunted By The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

It is sort of rare for a movie to hold my attention til the bitter end. Or for me to be watching a movie without at some point in time finding myself wondering how much longer is this going to go on?

Contemporary movies have a harder time holding my attention that classics from long ago.

Last night, on the Sundance Channel, I watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It held my attention til The End. I would not say I enjoyed having my attention held, due to the fact that this movie is a bit haunting.

It is the little boy in the striped pajamas, Shmuel, who has been haunting me.

Shmuel is a Jew, in a Nazi death camp. On the other side of the concentration camp fence is his friend, Bruno, son of the Nazi commandant of the death camp.

Shmuel is played by Jack Scanlon, Bruno by Asa Butterfield. These are the best child actors I've seen in a long time. The best since I watched Freddie Bartholomew in Captains Courageous, a 1937 movie, with Spencer Tracy, which also held my attention til The End.

I am not sure what is was about this particular Holocaust drama that got to me more than others, like Schindler's List. Maybe it was looking at the Nazi horror through the eyes of a pair of little 8 year old boys that amped up the poignancy.

I am hoping I do not have a repeat, tonight, of last night's nightmares about a little boy in striped pajamas.

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