Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences. (IMDb)
Well, this was highly depressing. I think the thing that makes it is the fact that it is seen from a child’s viewpoint, especially a child who truly didn’t understand what was going on. Essentially, what this movie is really about is the loss of innocence. You see it with all three child characters. Bruno is a kid who is ignorant to the fact that his father is in charge of a concentration camp, thinks the Jews are farmers, and even after he learns what is going on, believes the propaganda video. His older sister, Gretel, transforms from a little girl who plays with a dolls into a full supporter of the Nazi party. Shmuel lost his innocence the moment he entered the camp. So, story wise, this movie is absolutely heartbreaking. The acting in it is pretty good too. Vera Farmiga and David Thewlis as the parents make the movie. Throughout, the father believes whole-heartedly in what he is doing, even as his wife slowly begins to realize what is really going on. Fantastic performances, really. Asa Butterfield as Bruno and Jack Scanlon as Shmuel are good, for child actors, but the emotional punch from the movie comes from their lack of understanding, so it all works out. Overall, a really emotional movie that packs a punch from the opening shot of the Nazi flag to the closing blackout.