Category Archives: Movie

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

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stripedpyjamasBruno is nine years old when his father is transferred to a new job. The German family packs up their belongings and moves to Out-With. The first time Bruno looks out his new bedroom window and sees the low huts with so many people all milling about in striped pyjamas, you realize that his childlike mind has changed Auschwitz into Out-With; and that his father is the commandante of a concentration camp and that he has no idea what any of it means.

I loved the innocence that a child’s vocabulary brought to such a dark part of history. Listen to his description of Hitler, “The Fury was far shorter than Father and not, Bruno supposed, quite as strong. He had dark hair, which was cut quite short, and a tiny moustache- so tiny in fact that Bruno wondered why he bothered with it at all or whether he had simply forgotten a piece when he was shaving.” His little thoughts were enchanting and I found myself smiling and giggling along with him.

There were times that his ignorance broke my heart, and times when I was glad he had no idea what was going on around him.

Overall it was a good book. It made you think differently about things, and wonder what life was like on both sides of the fence. The only thing I disagreed with a bit was that it seemed to me that the majority of the people wished they weren’t Nazis. There was one particularly unkind guard at the camp, but other than that, most of the adults disagreed with Bruno’s father. Or were not proud of what they were doing. And it seemed to me that if the Nazis were anything, it was proud. It seems unlikely to me that the 9 year old son of a commandante would be so ignorant of the Nazi ideals. Maybe I’m wrong, but the book seems apologetically Nazi and in my mind, that is an oxymoron. The Nazis did not apologize. They thought they were right.

I would recommend “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” to anybody. It was sad, as you’d expect a book about Auschwitz to be, but the sadness was tempered a bit by the imagination and thoughts of a little boy trying to figure life out.

We Bought a Zoo (Movie)

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I know this is a book blog, but I can’t help myself. I loved this movie, and I think you will too. It is a sweet story of a man and his two kids who are foundering after the loss of wife and mother. When the movie begins, it’s been six months since she died. Long enough for her face to begin to fade in the mind of the little girl, but not long enough for any of the pain of loss to fade yet. They are stuck. They feel like a change will do them good. So they decide to buy a new house. When they pull up the drive of a complicated house, they fall in love with it. Before they hear all the details, they know that this is the house for them. Then they learn that on the 18 acres of land is a zoo.

This movie is so refreshing. It is a fun story about restoration. It is a reminder to find and live your adventure. To not lose those close to you, but to tell them what you need them to hear. To hear them. As Kelly says, “The secret to talking is listening.”

The music is always uplifting and hopeful. Even when something sad is happening, you feel like there are still good things to come.  If only Jonsi could play the soundtrack of our lives, so that when we are in the middle of something difficult, we could hear the promises of hope and a future that have been given to us.

I love the end that reminds us that life is in the stories. That remembering the good times brings the people we love back into sight. That sharing our memories helps us all to remember together…

Why not?