Important Information.

STOP PRESS: My second book - Foundations of the Faith - is now available as a Kindle e-book at*Version*=1&*entries*=0
Paperback NOW available at:

The first volume - Great Words of the Faith - is still available at
Paperback NOW available at:

If you haven't got a Kindle, there is a FREE app at

30% of the profits go to support the persecuted church.

I may be contacted, personally, at

Thursday, 11 September 2008

"The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas"

On Tuesday evening, Joyce and I went to a preview showing of the film “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” – due to go out on general release tomorrow. The story is set in Second World War Germany, where an army officer is promoted to be Commandant of a “Work Camp”. His whole family leave their beautiful home in Berlin, and are moved to within sight of the camp.

His eight-year-old son sees the camp from his bedroom window, but thinks that it is a farm. However, he is unable to understand why the workers are all wearing their pyjamas! Eventually, and in spite of having been forbidden to even go into the area behind the house, he finds himself outside the perimeter fence. Opposite him, is another boy – wearing the striped pyjamas that were the “uniform” of the camp’s inmates. This boy is also eight years of age – but he is a Jew!

As the film unfolds, the Nazi officer’s son comes to realise that, in his native country, Jew and German are not supposed to be friends. However, the somewhat harrowing conclusion of the story has the two boys holding hands, totally unaware of the fate that awaits them both.

For us, the story was a wee bit slow at times, but the ending was quite emotional, and the whole film was a reminder of the horror of the Holocaust – the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jewish race. There is an insight, through the glimpses of the lessons provided by the German boy’s tutor (who also tutors his twelve-year-old sister) to the kind of propaganda that was delivered in German schools of the period; and the changes in the sister show how well such propaganda was able to do its work. The use of propaganda film is also included and, having seen some of it, the German boy is fooled, and even looks for the pleasant scenes from the camp when he eventually manages to enter it himself!

This is a film that would be better viewed more than once. It is only as I have reflected on it over a couple of days that I have begun to realise how many strands have been followed in it. I would have liked it to have brought in some element of the concept of sacrifice; of the cost, to a father, of his only son; of forgiveness; of restitution; of reconciliation; and other specifically Christian messages. However, part of the benefit of the film as it is, is that it may well allow Christians to interact with non-Christian friends, and to raise some of those issues in their own way.

I would commend the film to anyone who has the opportunity to see it, and am grateful to have had that opportunity myself.

No comments: