The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas


SUBJECTS — World/WW II & Germany; ELA (irony);
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Human Rights; Friendship;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Respect; Responsibility; Caring.

The time is WW II; the place, Germany. Bruno is an 8 year old boy whose father is promoted to be commandant of a death camp. The family lives in a luxurious house isolated in the country. The only person Bruno’s age to play with is Shmuel, a boy behind the barbed wire of the camp. Bruno is told by his family that the camp is a farm and refers to the uniforms of the incarcerated Jews as “striped pajamas.” Slowly and reluctantly he comes to know part of the truth about the camp and his father. Bruno’s attempt to make up for an earlier betrayal of his friend causes Bruno to don the “pajamas” and sneak into the camp to help search for Shmuel’s lost father. While Bruno’s father frantically searches for his son, the boys are herded with a group of inmates into one of the gas chambers. Holding hands, they die together.

Selected Awards, Cast and Director:

Selected Awards:   2008 British Independent Film Awards: Best Actress (Vera Farmiga); Nominated: Best Director (Mark Herman) and Most Promising Newcomer (Asa Butterfield, as Bruno)

Featured Actors:  Asa Butterfield, Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis.

Director:  Mark Herman.


This film is based on a work of historical fiction by Irish novelist John Boyne.

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