This is the only film I have ever watched that has left me in total shock at the end. I watched it for the first time 3 days ago, I could not sleep that night, I could not stop thinking about it the following day, and I still think about it...those last few final scenes still haunt me now...it really left a lasting impression on me...I felt shock, anger and sadness...I felt an emotional attachment to the two boys as well, which I think made their fate even more upsetting, and knowing that this kind of thing actually used to go on makes it worse also.
yes, I too woke up the morning after watching this film with it rotating round my head. A truly haunting ending. I think this is the most effected I have been after watching a film for a long time.. but that, in my book, is what makes this such a great production. In some ways, it tells the history of the war better than any war film.. and yet it's a subject rarely tackled. Yes, we have Schindler's List and The Pianist, but nothing quite so simple, so shocking, so devastating, so frustratingly naive... as a child's eye view.
I had read the book so i wasnt so shocked. it is so profound; it makes an ever lasting impression. The haunting ending makes you wary of the things around you and how you value life. At the end of the film/book i think everybody says to themself 'it will never happen again, i wont let it'. And that attitude to these situations is good, its postive.
An exellent film to watch in History or RE (yr 9: age 13-14)
I'd read the book, so I knew the storyline, but was by no means prepared for how the film ended. It left me in shock for the rest of the day, and haunted my dreams that night. The book left me shocked, and I didn't think anything could shock me more, but this film did. I've never been so affected by any book or film. They've left a lasting impression on me, and awoken me to the horrors that went on. Reading the book was bad enough, but seeing it makes it so much more real. I can't decide if I liked it or not. When I'm watching the end I can barely look, and feel no desire to watch it again. But overall I think I liked it, despite the horrific and chilling ending.
I had not read the book,but had been told about it by my in-laws who had read it. Having seen Schindler's List and other films about the treatment of Jews by the Nazis, I was intrigued to find that this film gave me a better insight into the way ordinary Germans were taken in by the propaganda put out by the Government. A very touching and at times quite shocking film. I'm sure that the story told from a child's perspective makes it all the more harrowing and horrific. The ending, although expected still comes with a shocking, terrifying finallity.
I read the book and wept, more so at the childrens' innocence over anything [particularly "Out-With", something I was a little disappointed they did not include in the film]. I watched the film about 2 days later, almost a week ago now, and I'm still reeling from it. Like Alice said, reading it was bad enough, but seeing it all made it more horrificly real, especially the end. I thought the acting was brilliant, especially from Elsa, Bruno, Shmuel and Pavel. But the most surprising thing was that this is the first, and possibly last, time I have preferred the film to the book.
After seeing Schindler's List, this was not a shock. There was a kind of relief, to be honest, in seeing the reality of what was happening rather than being protected from the truth, as Bruno was in the film through by Nazi propoganda (the happy work camp film) and denial (how hard to have to face what his own father was doing to people). I felt that his father, the Nazi commandant, deserved the horror of knowing that his own son had been killed. He had full knowledge of what he was doing and had been responsible for the torture and death of hundreds if not thousands of Jews. I felt that the daughter and mother, despite some level of complicity, did not, since neither were fully aware of what was happening in the concentration camps. There is a sense that Bruno willingly went to the slaughter to right the wrong he committed when he denied that Shmaul was his friend and left him to the mercies of Kurt.
We read the book last month at our library reading group, I thought it was stunning and could not wait to see the film which I thought really matched the book for impact. One lady in our group had lived through those times and had just had enough of such accounts and felt it should be left. Everyone else thought we should never stop talking about it and never forget what happened, well said Obama this weekend again to those who deny. Although obviously a story, the account was totally gripping and I felt all the characters matched those in the book. I would recommend the film and the book to everyone.
Just watched it a couple of hours ago, and I think I'm stunned, or shocked... I'd never read the book or any reviews, really, so it was completely unexpected. I'll be getting the book soon, definitely.
What I remember most was my breathing: when Bruno's father is inside the camp completely desperate running around and looking inside the barracks trying to find him, and the soundtrack is just this really loud sound; and then everything suddenly stops and becomes quiet with an image of the closed door to the room where the Jews (with the two boys) had been killed. I remember struggling to breathe then (which was followed by crying), so I think I actually stopped breathing for a while. I don't know, I still feel stunned.
Showed the film as part of a school project on WWII and Judaism....class were totally enthralled and couldn't believe how the people in the concentration camps were treated. The fact that it centred on children only served to emphasise the impact of the ending.
This is found in Wikipedia - I agrre with every word of this comment Artistic licence or distortion of history? This is a novel: it is not historical fiction. The very premise of the book - that there would be a child of Shmuel's age - is, according to critics, an unacceptable fabrication that does not reflect the reality of life in the camps.
Rabbi Benjamin Blech condemned it: "This book is not just a lie and not just a fairytale, but a profanation." His chief complaint is that it supports the idea that ordinary people were unaware of the horrors of the Nazis' mass extermination of Jews. He argues that everyone for miles around could smell the stench of death and expresses doubt that the 9-year-old son of a Nazi official could be unaware of what a Jew is (or whether he himself is one).
He writes, "Note to the reader: There were no eight-year-old Jewish boys in Auschwitz -- the Nazis immediately gassed those not old enough to work. Also, the Auschwitz death camp was surrounded by Electric fences, making any attempts to crawl in through a hole impossible.". Such alleged falsification of history has important consequences, say Boyne's critics, for the way that the victims of the Holocaust might be remembered and commemorated, thus reviving arguments that were previously aired about Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List and the manner in which that film sanitised and falsified aspects of the concentration camp experience too.
After all the hype, we eventually got around to watching this. The whole family was left very dissapointed by the film. Thought the acting was wooden. The plot never really got going and just when we thought the film would go somewhere with the development of the relationship between the two boys, they are marched into the chamber and that's it! Not sure what the film intends us to feel. Sorrow for the Jewish boy? Amazement at the nievete of the German boy? What about the German father, mother, sister? It was more akin to a short play you might see at a local theatre not a block buster film. Leave all the historic references and reminders of Auchwitz aside - The good, the acurate, the fictional - yes, we know about that. As a quality story on film it will probably be put alongside Shindler's List. In my opinion it does not deserve to be on the same shelf. Very poor! A waste of £2.50 from the rental and 1.5 hours of my life.
Now I've seen it all - the Disney-fication of the Holocaust - exploitative, inauthentic, superficial and - because of the subject matter - deeply offensive and immoral. Within 10 years or so years of the war ending, at the age of 13 or 14, I was reading Lord Liverpool's account of the Nazi atrocities - and the Japanese ones, too, though I was still in many ways a child. This film is an insult to those children who were murdered in their hundreds of thousands, and to all those who may be tricked into watching it. It should never have been made.
How did I feel at the end of this film? Very offended! The film seemed to be saying that you should feel bad because one small nazi boy died, and he wasn't supposed to be there. As if you need to invent this because the murder of 6 million jews isn't bad enough. On top of this idea that the Nazi regime showed properganda films saying the camps were anything other than what they were to their soldiers who ran them is ridiculous. The very idea that the Nazi's covered up what they were doing to the extent that the camp commanders wife didn't know what was happening is dangerous.
Although I detested this film, the Germans did make propaganda films about one camp, though not Auschwitz as in the film. Mainly they were from Theresienstadt, which was a camp for showing to fools from the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is another story entirely, and one deserving of a better film than this one.