There is no greater testament to mans’ capabilities than a genocide. We can gain a pretty accurate idea about the enormity of the Holocaust and of its literal human cost through history books - a few million deaths here, a few more there. Is this the way in which we should be educated on such insane acts of human cruelty in order to prevent reoccurrence? Or is there another way, a more accurate way, a penetrating way, a way that leaves no room for apathy or indifference?
The film ‘The Boy in Striped Pyjamas’ uses the personal, the innocent and the sweet to release the enormity of this human tragedy, and what better way is there of making it as real as possible, than through a small story of two children’s’ struggle to understand what cannot be understood – what only the insane and the cruel can understand. Its simplicity and innocence are what make it the most effective depiction of what happens when big men get big ideas - ideas that suffocate the life out of adorable little children, children that could be your children, children destroyed simply because they were born.
It is, for me, the most important film ever made. We have an obligation to see it, to see two little boys, a representation of the billions of little boys and girls all over the world suffering under the tyrannical boots of the monsters and ogres that have ruled the world for centuries and still do. We must acknowledge it if we are to end it, we must be reminded if we are never to forget, and please, we must NEVER forget.
History has always been personal as humanity is personal, and thus a personal account of history is in my opinion the most accurate. We all know how many men, women, children and tiny babies lost their lives in the Holocaust, and now, thanks to this movie, we actually know the reality behind the figures. It could have been our children in striped pyjamas.
Bruno and Schmall’s story happened. It is not a lie; it is not just a portrayal. Their story happened to so many children and is still happening. Why are we letting this insurmountable suffering continue? If you haven’t already asked yourself this question, you will after you see the film, and I pray its innocence speaks to you.