From Apple trailers: "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a fictional story that offers a unique perspective on how prejudice, hatred and violence affect innocent people, particularly children, during wartime. Through the lens of an eight-year-old boy largely shielded from the reality of World War II, we witness a forbidden friendship that forms between Bruno, the son of Nazi commandant, and Schmuel, a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed wire fence, their lives become inescapably intertwined. The imagined story of Bruno and Shmuel sheds light on the brutality, senselessness and devastating consequences of war from an unusual point of view. Together, their tragic journey helps recall the millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust."
From Apple trailers: "A Secret follows the saga of a Jewish family in post-World War II Paris. François, a solitary, imaginative child, invents for himself a brother as well as the story of his parents’ past. But on his fifteenth birthday, he discovers a dark family secret that ties his family’s history to the Holocaust and shatters his illusions forever. Adapted from Philippe Grimbert’s celebrated truth-inspired novel, Memory. Winner of the Grand Prix of the Americas Prize at the Montréal World Film Festival 2007." It stars Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly).
I am particularly drawn to Holocaust films because it's an unimaginable time in history that is just around the corner from 2008. It's true what they say about history, that no one really comprehends the recent past. Perhaps it's because high school history classes never make it to WWII. Or maybe it's because kids don't want to hear their grandparents talk about how hard things were for them when they were young. I tend to think it's the latter since we're part of the "Me Generation" and we take things for granted. But holocausts have happened across centuries, and I don't think the average American really understand the significance of the Holocaust happening in a modern, industrial, civilized society. We can't blame it on barbarism or colonialism. It's ignorant Otherness, and if it happened in the twentieth-century, it'll happen again. It absolutely breaks my heart that I will never fully grasp the weight of what happened, and keeping this atrocity in the back of mind, I become so irate when I hear people say slanderous and racist things to one another. Why is hatred so popular? Is it because it's easier to hate one another? The reason I'm attracted to Holocaust films is because, even in the darkest and most heart-breaking times that we've known, there is hope in humanity. There is someone who knows that what is happening is wrong. There is someone with integrity who never loses their identity in the face of evil. There is someone who helps, who makes promises, who looks forward to a new day, who expects a new day. And I need that. I need those moments.