The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Mark Herman (2008)

12 Certificate


Our Score
Childish innocence provides stark contrast to the darkest depravities of Nazism in this affecting adaptation of John Boyne's bestselling novel. The film follows Bruno (Asa Butterfield), an eight-year-old boy living in Berlin, who is uprooted with his family to the countryside when his Nazi officer father (David Thewlis) is promoted. Bruno mistakes the nearby concentration camp for a farm and, through the barbed wire, befriends another little boy (Jack Scanlon) wearing striped pyjamas. The crushing inevitability of what the children don't know is heartbreaking, their naivety boldly underlining the unfathomable nature of the crimes that surround them. However, writer/director Mark Herman (Little Voice, Brassed Off) is less successful at addressing why Thewlis's character is so adamant in his beliefs. For both grown-ups and children, it's a morality tale that prompts more questions than answers. That's fine, as long as audiences are open to having this conversation.


Bruno, a boy in Nazi Germany, moves to the country when his father is placed in charge of a concentration camp. While exploring the woods close to the facility's boundary, he spots a Jewish youngster being held there, and the two become friends - but Bruno remains innocently oblivious to the camp's true purpose. Drama, starring David Thewlis, Asa Butterfield and Jack Scanlon.

Cast & Crew

Father David Thewlis
Bruno Asa Butterfield
Shmuel Jack Scanlon
Mother Vera Farmiga
Gretel Amber Beattie
Pavel David Hayman
Lt Kotler Rupert Friend
Grandma Sheila Hancock
Leon Zac Mattoon O'Brien
Director Mark Herman
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: WDSMP UKGuidance: Violence.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 12 Sep 2008