A must-see movie

Published 9:51 pm Monday, December 1, 2008

Those who know me well – or at all – know that I’m not a big moviegoer.

In fact, any question directed toward me that begins with “Have you ever seen…” is likely to get a negative answer.

However, when I first saw the television advertisements for “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” I knew immediately that I would go see it.

Email newsletter signup

I have been a voracious reader of Holocaust literature and watcher of films based on the Holocaust since I was in college. It all started with “The Diary of Anne Frank,” and has progressed from there. I’ve read every horrifying account of concentration camp life I can get my hands on, and plenty of historical fiction based on the Holocaust, as well.

I even took a solo trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum this summer as a birthday present to myself.

So it’s no surprise that the moment I saw the advertisements for the movie, I was committed to go. At first, I was disappointed to learn it was only playing in major cities, and might not be released nationwide. However, I was thrilled last week when I discovered that it was playing at several area theaters (including Harbour View Grand Cinemas in North Suffolk).

I’m no movie critic, and in fact, the critics usually denounce the movies I love as among the worst they’ve ever seen. My favorite movie, “Dead Poets Society,” is a prime example of that. This one was no different, as the reviews I read after seeing the movie were generally bad.

However, I thought it was a good film, well thought-out and superbly acted. It is based on a fiction book of the same name by Irish novelist John Boyne. Without giving anything away, the film starts off with a Nazi officer receiving a promotion to the position of, the audience later learns, commander of the Auschwitz concentration camp. He moves his family, including his wife, 12-year-old Gretel and 8-year-old Bruno to the “countryside.”

Bruno can see the camp from his bedroom window, and in his innocence (or ignorance), believes it is a farm and that the farmers are wearing “striped pajamas.”

Bored and without any friends his age, he wanders off and stumbles across the camp, befriending an 8-year-old Jewish boy on the other side of the electrified barbed wire. From there, I’ll let you just go watch the movie – but be prepared for the completely unexpected (unless you’ve read the book) and horrifying conclusion.