Synopsis: Bruno, a playful boy who dreams to be an explorer in the future, lives with his family in Berlin, Nazi Germany. He is forced to move out Berlin with his family, as his father, a Nazi official, is promoted to countryside Poland. Out of curiosity and boredom, he sneaks out of his house. He finds himself in front of a wired camp, which he calls a farm. He befriends Shmuel, who is a young Jew and on the other side of the fence of the camp.
The rationale: Herman’s goal wasn’t to just direct story about the Holocaust, but to direct a heartbreaking story. He used different film techniques, to help effectiveness of the story. Some techniques were clever, and adapted the story well. He used different stairs, with different houses. The stairs in the Poland house are threatening, like prison bars, then the house in Berlin.
Director: Mark Herman is a British film director who was best known for writing and directing The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (British Title). He was late when he starts studying film. He was 27 when he was studying, animation.
His work: He has directed few of more films, such as Blame it on the Bellboy (1992), Brassed Off (1996), and Hope Springs (2003).
His style: Herman’s style in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is clever. He used British actors in the movie, who had tint of German accent. The story’s setting is based on German and Poland.
Angles and Shots: The movie has many low angle, high angle, and crane shots. All the meetings of Shmuel and Bruno were taken with close-ups or mid shots. When Shmuel was shown, the wire surrounding the camp was shown as well.
– Costume – The movie is adapted from the 1940s World War II. All of the ‘Germans’ in the movie were light-skinned and had blue eyes. Their clothes were decent. The Jews’ or prisoner’s clothes were dark and light blue striped prison pajamas. The costumes effected the characters. It indicated that in the story, there were two different types of people; Jews and Germans.
– Lighting – The lighting in the movie is very dull and low-contrast. It indicates a strong event was going to occur or the story is sad.
– Setting – The story’s setting was in Germany in the beginning, but the most scenes of the movie were based on Poland.
Concepts of editing: In the movie, the most of the editing was taken in Graphic Relationships, Rhythmic Relationships, and Spatial relationships. For example, the conversations of Shmuel and Bruno are Shot/Reverse Shots which is a example of a Spatial Relationships.
“I’m a Jew” Scene Analysis:
– Sound – Insects sounds indicated that there outside. – Editing – Spatial Relationships – The scene was taken and edited as a Shot/Reverse Shot. It showed the conversation between Bruno and Shmuel.
– Shots and Angles –
Mid Shot(Shmuel): Shmuel is shown with usual emotion. The background is shown with men working. In front of Shmuel, the wire that is surrounding the camp is shown.
Mid Shot(Bruno): Bruno is talking with Shmuel, and inviting him to his house. He doesn’t know that the World War II is occurring during the movie. The wire isn’t shown to indicating, Bruno isn’t trapped.
Mid Shot(Shmuel): Shmuel denies. The camera focuses on the wire, rather than Shmuel’s face.
… The conversation is continued.
Mid Shot(Bruno): Confusion crosses his face. He wonders why the wired fence is covered the camp.
Mid Shot(Shmuel): Shmuel states that he is a Jew. He looks down, wondering if Bruno will judge him.
Mid Shot(Bruno): Bruno cringes, and rethink that he should stay or not.
Mid Shot(Shmuel): The camera shows Shmuel looking down. The silence is lacking.
The camera is switched to low angle to high angle, when Bruno is leaving.