The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Theatrical Release: November 7, 2008
DVD Release: March 10, 2009
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas


Limited Theatrical Release: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a fictional story that offers a unique perspective on how prejudice, hatred and violence affect innocent people, particularly children, during wartime.

Through the lens of an eight-year-old boy largely shielded from the reality of World War II, we witness a forbidden friendship that forms between Bruno, the son of Nazi commandant, and Schmuel, a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed wire fence, their lives become inescapably intertwined.

Dove Review

This is a powerful movie that will move you emotionally unless you have a heart of stone. The atrocities of Nazi, Germany led by Hitler and his commandants are realistically portrayed in this well-made film. The performance of the child actors, Asa Butterfield as young Bruno, and Jack Scanlon as Shmuel, are right on target and emotionally charged. Although there are no overly violent moments on the screen, the emotions which the story elicits warrants a two in our violence category, as such images as smoke rising from a gas chamber carry an emotional impact.

This picture brilliantly portrays the fact that when one person or people harm innocent people, that inevitably their own innocent people will be touched or harmed in some way. The interaction of the two young boys, both age eight, give characterizations that will draw the audience in. It is a bit depressing to watch at times; for example a former doctor, a Jew, now has the task of peeling potatoes for Bruno’s family. He is also badly mistreated by a soldier who frequents the home.

This film is dramatic in every respect and realistically reveals the horrible realities of the time, and the viewer may well forget it is fictionalized. This movie is well worth viewing and the value of life is markedly stated on the big screen. We gladly award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this film.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: None
Language: Just a "God forbid" and a girl prays in Jesus name.
Violence: Boys fake shooting each other with imaginary guns; a boy falls and skins his knee and just a little blood is seen; man beaten off screen; a young boy shows visible signs of being beaten; the emotional drama of knowing the violence being committed at the war camp.
Drugs: Drinking at dinner party; wine served with dinner; brief smoking.
Nudity: The men and boys are forced to disrobe in chamber and there is mild rear nudity.
Other: A boy sneaks away from home thereby disobeying parents; children are brainwashed by a tutor who agrees with Nazi propaganda; a reference to burning Jews and man's wife disagrees with this policy; a boy in fear denies knowing his friend.


Company: Miramax Pictures
Writer: John Boyne and Mark Herman
Director: Mark Herman
Producer: David Heyman
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 100 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter