“The boy wearing striped pajamas:”: A story of friendship that overcame prejudice.
The story of friendship between two children who taught us a great lesson.
“The boy wearing striped pajamas” is a film set in Germany between the years 1933 and 1945, as well as being based on the book by John Boyne published in 2006. The film and the book tell us the story of 2 children who meet They meet in the middle of a hostile scenario.
Bruno is the son of a high-ranking soldier in the German army, while Shmuel is a Jewish boy imprisoned in a containment camp. Both were created in very different worlds, with very different values and ideologies, but the love and affection that grows between them was stronger than their upbringing.
At the height of the holocaust, these children put aside their ideologies and began their friendship. The innocence of both characters led them to become one of the most applauded and remembered friendships on the big screen.
In the book we can see that both Bruno and Shmuel were born on the exact same day. However, their lives could not be more different. Bruno grew up in a wealthy family, the son of a soldier, and his biggest concern was always not having someone to play with. Thanks to the new place where he is forced to live, he fell victim to the boredom of being alone in the middle of nowhere and leaving his friends behind.
On the other hand, Shmuel has been sentenced to live in a concentration camp and has completely different concerns than Bruno. However, both have attitudes and visions of life filtered with the characteristic innocence of children.
Throughout the film, we can see that the children do not understand why their lives are so different, so they see each other as an equal, as a friend to play with and share adventures with. They do not understand why a barrier separates them, if they were born on the same day and were so similar.
The barrier they face is entirely real, though it is also treated as a symbol. Two children born on the same day, two identical children and two very different realities. While today we view the military occupation of that time with contempt, we have to accept that many children were born into that privilege like Bruno and were unaware of the implications for their environment. Bruno at least had a lot more luck than Shmuel.
We could say that this barrier, this opposition of realities, still exists today; although in a different way, it is still not the same to be born in one part of the world than in another, in a wealthy family or in a family lacking in resources.
The boy in the striped pajamas poses the problems that a certain ideology can lead to and the ideas that shape it.
In the story and in the film itself we see that ideas can indirectly cause much more damage than any weapon, especially if we take into account the power of some of them, at certain times, to unite wills.
Thus, the conviction of people for a certain cause can lead them to commit any type of act, however unfair and cruel it may seem.
Although they were both children, their way of acting tells us that their childhood was not the same at all, since both have very different world views. While one of them had lived away from all the cruelty in the world, the other experienced it firsthand.
For Shmuel, the values he had grown up with no longer had value or meaning. Fear and confusion was what invaded his mind generating that behavior. While for Bruno, who was struggling between what his family told them and what he saw, there was only confusion.
Here honesty prevailed because he understood what was good or what he could do and what he couldn’t. She understood that he must do what he says and not promise something that he will not be able to fulfill.