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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

November 5, 2008
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Seldom has a movie both moved me emotionally and challenged me intellectually. In fact, I can count the times this has happened with one hand. Recently it happened while reading the book “The Kite Runner” and it happened again while watching the new film The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (PG-13), coming out November 7th.
The film is based on the best-selling novel by the Irish writer John Boyne. It tells the story of 8-year-old Bruno, whose father, a Nazi Officer, has just been promoted to commanding a “labour” camp. Once in their new home, Bruno cannot figure out why he can’t visit the strange people living in the “farm” behind the fence. Eventually, he sneaks out and meets and befriends Schmuel, a Jewish boy in the concentration camp. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed wire fence, their lives become inescapably intertwined.
The imagined story of Bruno and Shmuel offers a unique perspective on how prejudice, hatred and violence affect innocent people, particularly children, during wartime, and sheds light on the brutality, senselessness and devastating consequences of war from an unusual point of view. For me it brought to the forefront how those of us who remain silent in the midst of atrocities, can be as much to blame for them and how resourceful we can be when trying to justify our own evil acts. The film is very much a pro-life film.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a powerful story, was wonderfully directed by Mark Herman (Little Voices). The film includes spectacular performances by child actors Asa Butterfield as Bruno and Jack Scanlon as Shmuel. It also has wonderful performances by Vera Farmiga (Joshua, The Departed, Breaking and Entering), David Thewlis (Harry Potter, The Inner Life of Martin Frost) and David Hayman (from the British TV series Trial and Retribution).
This powerful film opens November 7th in Toronto, November 14th in Montreal and Vancouver, and November 21st in Calgary and Edmonton. Salt + Light has 15 passes to give away to see The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas – each pass offers admission for two people. The passes are good at anytime for the run of the movie, in any of those cities.
If you’re interested in any of the above cities and interested in seeing the film, send us an email at info@saltandlighttv.org with “Boy in the Stripped Pajamas” as the subject line. Please provide your name, address, and telephone number. And if you’re one of the first 15, we’ll get a pass off to you.
For a preview of the film or for more information, visit HERE.

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