The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
I came across a post about this film and replied and then I thought that my reply was too important not to share to a wider audience. So here we go. Not my normal type of post but the message behind it is essential whoever you are - whatever race, creed, religion, age or gender.
Warning Spoiler alert below, if you haven't seen the film
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is probably the most disturbing film ever made while at the same time it is a brilliant piece of cinematography that tells an absolutely essential story that must be told and more importantly must be heard.
Some may question the historical reliably of the setting "The Farm" but unlike other works of fiction the context is NOT a fabrication (think Mathew McConaughey in U571 as the absolute worst, not just a distortion but a complete untruth).
Coming back to The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas I have read some reviews too and many people say that while it is truly brilliant it is a film they can only ever watch once - the ending is that disturbing. Even if you are able to watch the film more than once I am sure you can relate to exactly how such viewers have reacted.
SPOILER FROM HERE.
What is most disturbing is how it concludes and the questions it raises concerning our own moral compass. As the barrack is cleared and everybody is driven towards the gas chamber many of us hoping beyond hope that somehow the Commandant will arrive in time to save his boy and as a viewer that is our central concern which neglects (or even denies our feelings towards the prisoners) who have at least as much right to live as the boy.
It is almost as though we write them off as dead and somehow feel that the commandant's son should live. However, we should see everybody in the same light with the same rights.
Having said that while we recognise the horror - as we do with many Holocaust films - of the Shoah because we identify so strongly with the story it somehow becomes more personal and consequently it has a great impact.
This DOES NOT CHANGE the fact that as both boys are driven into the gas chamber with the others, we kind of knew that it was coming for the Jewish boy, who at that point becomes yet another anonymous victim while feeling a great sense of indignation about the death of Commandant's son.
The truth is that we should feel the same about both boys. The fact that it shows how we think, more than anything, is what makes the film so disturbing.
As I said, a departure from my normal posts but the message is too important to miss.
Stay safe and stay well my friends.