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Monday, May 12, 2014

The Book Thief Movie Review

I know that in the last year the rise in popularity of The Book Thief has more people wanting to read this novel, and it was recently made into a film. I'll admit that I own a copy of this book, but like so many others that I own I have yet to read it. So when I heard that they was a film version out I just couldn't wait to see it.

I have to say that I was very impressed with the film, and cannot wait to read the book. This movie did not have any recognizable movie stars in it, but it was still very good. I appreciated the fact that this story involves the civillian population during WW2 versus combat films or films that only focus on the Holocaust portion of that history.

If you have not heard of the book or the film the story starts out with the introduction of the main character named Liesel, who is a young girl who is being adopted, as her mother (who is later said to be a communist) is giving up to an older German couple who do not have children of their own. In the movie it starts out being narrated by a man's voice that the viewer is unsure of who it is, and you do not guess the identity of the voice until the middle of the film. Liesel travels with her brother who was also promised to the older couple, but he dies along the way. At his burial is where she finds a book that has been dropped by one of the grave diggers, and she quickly picks it up in her grief maybe as a reminder of her dead brother. She has a rough start upon meeting her new parents, and she wants to sleep clutching the book that she found, but cannot read. She does not know how to read. When she gets sent to school and asked to write her name on the board all she writes are x's, and the other children laugh at her. Her adoptive father finds the book as she is clutching it to her as she goes to sleep. He asks her about it, and see's that it does not seem to be an appropriate book for a young girl. He then learns that she does not know how to read, and then offers to teach her. While learning to read another dilemma reveals itself in the form of a mysterious young man who soon visits the old couple after the events of kristallnacht,
which was a big event in Holocaust events of this war. The young man named Max is the son of a man that "Papa" knew from the war, as his life was saved by his father, and he owes it to the young man to help him in anyway he can. They choose to give the young man refuge in their home. The family attends a book burning where such books as  H.G. Wells The Invisible Man is one of the books suspect by the Nazi regime as corrupting the German people. This film goes over so many different things that were occurring at the time period of the Third Reich.  Such as the air raids, and the villagers having to hide in the air raid shelter until the sirens signal the okay to come out. The searches conducted by the Nazi's of random basements to root out people in hiding, such as Jews, communists or any of the many people they were opposed to. The film also touches upon the feelings about the other races, such as when Rudy a neighboring boy says he wants to be like Jesse Owens "the fastest man in the world", and his father is told to teach his son if he wants to remain in the party. We also get to see just how desperate the Reich had gotten, by recruiting (conscription) very young boys, and men too old for duty. I will not reveal too much more about the film, as I do not want to spoil it. But I did find this film to be very touching, and very sad at times. As I stated before I very much enjoyed it, and rated it 4 out of 5 stars. While I do not think it is 100% based on real events it is a very good tool to teach people about the Second World War.

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