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Saturday, November 8, 2008

striped pajamas



We were as twinned lambs that did frisk i' th' sun, And bleat the one at th' other. What we changed Was innocence for innocence; we knew not The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dreamed That any did..... William Shakespeare



my friend jim and i went to see "the boy in the striped pajamas" last evening. we originally were off to see "when pigs fly" at the theatre off broadway, but it was dark, so we quickly came up with an alternate plan.

the film is quite slow paced and unravels rather clumsily. the sets kept my interest, being one very traditional turn-of-last century house, and then one older home that had been modified to have some modern features. i am using modern here because i mean mid-century but that would include the 1940's. i believe the film was shot in hungary, which could explain some of the oddities.

none-the-less, there are some very tender exchanges of dialogue between 2 eight year old boys while they are sitting on the ground with a barbed wire fence between them. naturally they don't always appear to remember it is there. these scenes alone were worth watching on a large screen for me- those and the 2nd location used satisfied my interest.

but i also think the film highlighted one aspect of the holocaust that doesn't always come through. this would be the inner turmoil among so many families whose members didn't always see eye-to-eye on the issue of the treatment of the jews. party loyalty versus a sense of right and wrong were wrestling each other under the surface at thousands of junctures.

the ending is highly dramatic. the last shot panned is still with me. i don't mind that the holocaust is the vehicle for yet another story, because it is a wealth of examples of the human condition. we are not perfect, as much as we would like to think we have grown, our basic human instincts- crowd mentality, a desire to blame something or someone for our troubles, acting against our better judgement out of fear, considering our own comfort over that of others remain in tact.

i put a sample of the soundtrack by james horner in the sidebar. it's another fantastic score..

i'm off to a friends 50th b'day party tonight. i could use a laugh or two...

1 comment:

Marc said...

I think it's a very dangerous thing to present the holocaust in glossy, trivialized or unrealistic terms. The set up of the movies is hightly unbelievable, and unless it is clearly an out and out fable (like Life is Beautiful) people who are vauge about the details of history will get very innaccurate ideas of how dreadful it really was.

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