I saw The Boy in the Striped PJs on an international flight to the US.
I thought it was a good film. It had a deliberate and rather insoucient simplicity and naivete. The resulting occasionally fantastical quality helped the story move along without worrying too much about basic violations of realism. There weren’t too many death camps where an outsider could strike up a casual and lenthy conversation with an inmate sitting cross legged facing the wire.
Anyway it worked all very well. Nothing too heavy or profound was tried, but the film made its points well I think. And as I’ve argued before, the holocaust and similar phenomena surrounding that moral black hole in our understanding and experience are a virtually impossibly difficult subject for fiction.
So well done on a modestly conceived program. But I have one gripe, and it’s not really with the film, it’s with its classification. As the comment involves a spoiler, it’s below the fold.
OK, well here we are after the fold. My problem is this. The film ends with a ‘selection’ in which two young boys together with about fifty or so adults are marched through the mud and the rain into ‘showers’ and gassed. They are stripped naked, hurded disoriented and terrified into the chamber and the steel black door is locked behind them. A man in a gas mask then empties capsules into the chamber and the naked victims are gassed.
The film is rated PG.
My question is this. WTF?