Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I took my daughter and niece to see The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas last night. My daughter had read the book and had told me and her cousin all about it so we were well aware we weren't going to get a happy ending.

In the event the ending was so harrowing that not a soul moved in the cinema when the film ended. We all sat in various states of distress as the credits silently rolled.

I mention it here because if you have a teenager you can use or borrow to take and see this film then do so. It is a marvellous and touching way of exploring the Holocaust for young people and I honestly believe it should be shown in every secondary school, shocking as it most certainly is.


Fire Byrd said...

Films that do that are so powerful, aren't they. And it's so important to keep reminding ourselves of man's in humanity to man.
I think I'll wait till it's on DVD then I can cry at home privately.

Martin said...

Interestingly I saw a review of the film in Sight & Sound yesterday that said "It's hard to predict how it will fare in cinemas but it's long term home will surely be in the classroom."

Start the campaign now JJ!

J.J said...

Hi Pixie. I had to try and be brave because of the girls - but I didn't manage it.

Martin - I hope Sight and Sound are right. Coincidence that!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I was thinking of buying a set of this novel for school use. Now I think I will.

Jay said...

Mmm. If it's that harrowing, I think I'll give it a miss.

And I'm not sure that I agree that extremely harrowing movies should automatically be shown in the classroom to all students with no exceptions. Obviously, the Holocaust needs to be remembered and taught and we can't shield everyone from all the ugliness, but not all teens are hardened, street-wise, intelligent individuals. Having handle one particular child who was psychologically disturbed by a movie which no teacher at the school thought particularly upsetting, I think there should be an opt-out.

Jay said...

BTW, there's something waiting for you at my place! :)

J.J said...

YP - my daughter's English set did the book at the start of Year 9 and they were all mesmorised by it. I am sure your students would be the same.

Jay - I must admit to feeling a bit worried about my niece and how she would take the film as she is only 11, but she took it all in, and is still talking now about different aspects of the film and her feelings about it, so I am now glad she did watch it. What makes it so harrowing I think is the innocence of the two children in it, both aged 8, and both blissfully unaware of what was actually going on around them.

And Jay - thank you so much! I am really chuffed! Will definitely do the passing on bit when I get back from Scotland next week.

Karen said...

I remember we watched Schindler's List in History class and it was still traumatic even though I'd seen it before. We watched a particularly nasty one set in Africa somewhere in RE.

J.J said...

Karen - that is a great film too.