Friday, December 5, 2008

If the boy who plays the Jewish boy does not receive an Oscar, the Academy will officially become a joke. The scenes as depicted above are heart wrenching. The Jewish boy does not fully understand everything, but he understands enough. The son of the camp commander understands nothing.
Comments from Bruno such as, he does not understand why a Jewish doctor would become a potato peeler, or his friend's father would go from being a watch maker to a farmer, as Bruno believes is happening in the camp, demonstrate not only his, but his mother's lack of understanding as to the true meaning of the camps.
The family moves from Berlin upon the father's promotion to the position of a camp commander. At first Bruno does not like living in the country, but upon making friends with a Jewish boy in the camp, Shmuel, he changes his mind. Again, Jack Scanlon, who plays Shmuel, delivered the best performance of a child actor I have ever seen.
I do not want to give away the end. Several people in the audience were crying, some with their hands over their faces. It is very compelling and thought provoking.
This is a must see family film for middle school children and higher. It does not have direct violence. The violence is implied. I can think of no better Holocaust film for children about children.
Every social studies teacher should be sending a note home to the parents that this is a must see film. I can only hope that some day this film will be a standard tool used by social studies teachers to introduce the Holocaust.

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