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Fashion and Film Friday: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Friday, June 25, 2010






While I'm not wild about depressing movies, This week's Fashion and Film Friday pick offers a very valuable message about how hatred and ignorance can effect the lives of the innocent.


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is unlike any other movie about the Holocaust because the story is told from the viewpoint of an innocent, 8 year old German boy, Bruno. Bruno's father is a Nazi commandant. When his father takes over running a work camp, Bruno and his family are relocated to a large house just down the road from the camp. Bruno's privileged life as the son of the commandant has taught him little about the world around him.

One day, he leaves home to explore the forest and discovers the outer walls of a work camp, he becomes very curious about the terrible smells coming from the chimney, the people "playing" in pajamas all day and a Jewish boy named Shmuel.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas really portrays the fear felt by Germans who didn't agree with the policies of the Third Reich. The terror of Nazi Germany was inflicted upon them so harshly that some people ignored the reality of the situation and even sacrificed the innocence of their own children, as can be seen in Bruno's mother.

While none of us like to see the terrible sights of the Holocaust, movies like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas are very important to remind us about these events that took place not long ago and that we all have to be cautious to not let history repeat itself.


The amazing World War II era costumes for this movie were designed by Natalie Ward. However, the incredible 1940's hairstyles of this movie particularly stood out to me. Hairstylist Jaqueline Bhavnani worked on hair and makeup for this film. She also served as the hairstylist for Valkyrie, Alexander and DeLovely.


17 Responses to “Fashion and Film Friday: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”

  1. that movie broke my heart to see all the pain in it ugh,changed my momma out look as well!

    bombshelljessie.blogspot.com

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  2. i shall check this film out, thanks for the review!

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  3. It was def. a good movie, just not one I would ever want to see again :(

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  4. I definitely agree about just looking up the pretty pictures and forgoing the movie experience. I don't like depressing movies involving children. I was sad for a few days after watching this one. Fabulous hairstyles though, as you pointed out:D

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  5. yea, me too!! My husband came home from work and said "What's wrong?!" I love the hair and the mom's clothes, but it was so incredibly sad!! :(

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  6. This is a very powerful movie (I agree the mother's style is impeccable, and I think her clothing becomes deliberately reflective of how her and her family's status was built on the unthinkable acts endorsed by her husband...in short, they are deliberately stylised to provide a sharp contrast to the "striped" pajamas referred to in the movie title). While sad, I think this film is really powerful. It really highlights how hatred is taught and offers the possibility that children have something to teach adults. I don't know if people would ever allow their children to see this film, but there is certainly an argument to be made in favour of older kids being asked to watch it as part of a school curriculum related to the holocaust, anti-discrimination, etc.

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  7. This film is heartbreaking but I think it is so important. In regards to Baroness Von Vintage's comment, I am a teacher and I think this is something that older children should watch as part of their WWII curriculum. When I was 15, we were taken to a Holocaust exhibition in London as part of our History class. It was so upsetting but I could definitely appreciate how important is was that we learnt about it.

    Have you read the book? It's chilling. I think it's more poignant than the film- there is certainly an element of a warning about the final paragraph.

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  8. I visted Auschwitz a few years ago when I went travelling round Europe. It was so upsetting I can't even begin to describe it. I read the book, and cried my eyes out at the end and kept dreaming about it so I don't think I can watch the film.

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  9. This is a movie I'd like to see, though like Schindler's List, I'm sure it's not one that I'll ever repeat. I had seen previews for this movie some time back.

    As for 40s style (clothing/hair), we've been watching Foyle's War and those things always catch my attention. Plus it's a very good series!

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  10. No, I haven't read this book, I'd like to...but I think I'd lose it! Baroness makes a VERY excellent point, and I totally agree! I think this movie would be an excellent choice to show to students. I think it would also be school appropriate. I had a friend who visited the Holocaust museum when she was in middle school and she said that it made a very profound impact on her. While the crimes committed were indescribably horrific, I think that it is very important to expose children to things like that. Children are exposed to hate and discrimination on the playground. If they are shown just how far hate can go, it can prevent atrocities like the Holocaust from ever happening again. Thank you all for your comments on this subject!

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  11. Oh, I've heard this is such a sad, powerful movie. I don't like sad movies much either, but I find I watch them every once in awhile just for the exposure to things that important to know about.

    On a brighter note...I agree her hairstyles are lovely here. Great post!

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  12. I don't know if I could recommend this movie to anyone... I cried for a good hour afterwards :( Just heartbreaking. My dad tricked me into watching it by mentioning the fashion - in my head I had confused it with another film so I had no idea how sad it was going to be! Still, it was a really well made film, and I really liked how nuanced the portrayal of the Germans was - showing how not all of them approved or even knew of the reality, how easy it is to get sucked in by propaganda (such as the daughter did) and the consequences for anyone who didn't go along with things (like the soldier who gets sent to fight in Russia - practically a death sentence). I can't even imagine what it would feel like to watch this movie as a mother :(

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  13. I've wanted to see this. But I know what you mean about being a mom, I cry at everything now!

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  14. That movie was excellent and very sad indeed. I loved the clothing in it too.

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  15. This movie was a real tear jerker for me. Watched it with my daugher and grandchildren. I would reccommend watching it if you haven't already. Be prepared, though have kleenex close by.

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  16. Oh Lordy. I was watching this one thinking "Meh, average WWII flick, more for Junior HIgh students than adults."
    And then the last 20 minutes began.
    I honestly stood straight up and shouted "No, no, no, sweet god, no!"at my monitor the whole time.

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  17. I also didn't particularly want to watch a film that was never going to have a happy ending, but I was completely horrified at this film. You would think that there are only so many ways that this subject can be covered through the media, but this was a totally new take, and it stayed with me for days afterwards. It is a good thing though, as the horror of it, and the fact that it is in living memory, should not be forgotten. It made me feel sad when it was mentioned that Auswitch should be left for nature to reclaim. It somehow detracts, belittles, what happened there. Very thought provoking.

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