Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.
This movie is based on a controversial children’s book. The book's controversy is not just for its historical inaccuracies, but also for the way it encourages the audience to feel sorry for the Nazi family. Can it ever be argued that Nazis were also victims of WWII? How do you determine when sympathy can or should be extended to someone who was part of an atrocity?
Teaching Idea #2
Research the WWII Sisak children's concentration camp. Where was it located? How many children were transported to Sisak? What was the purpose of the children's concentration camp? How was Sisak different from Auschwitz?
Teaching Idea #3
Explore whether the Holocaust was deadlier for Jewish children or adults. Why was this so? Many of the works about the Holocaust made for children focus on hiding and escape. In what ways is this movie’s ending more true to life than other works which may be more historically accurate within the scope of the story they are telling?