We watched the film "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" last night. Made in 2006, it tells the wartime story of a friendship between a German boy, the son of an extermination camp Commandant, and a Jewish boy who is a captive of that camp.
Of course, like all good films, there's so much more than that going on, and the film explores the conflicts of such a time in a refreshingly non-preachy way. The Germans are not all monsters. The mechanics of what went on is not presented judgementally and in gory detail. In fact, for swathes of the film the camp is something of a minor character; a nagging "extra" lurking at the peripheral.
Without wishing to spoil things for those who've not seen it, it's one of the few films I think I've seen with a less than happy ending. With that in mind, the ending shocked me a little. Yet, thinking about it later, it's the perfect ending—the only ending that could be sensible.
If you've not seen the film you should dig it out—even if you find the subject matter a little un-nerving (or especially so, perhaps). As an exercise in story telling it's worth the entrance fee alone.
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