Because its gaze is so level and so unyielding, it stands as one of the better dramatic films made on this subject (although it's not nearly as fine as Louis Malle's Au Revoir les Enfants, in which the camps remain a distant abstraction).
Not everything in life, or in history, needs to be framed in terms of things children can relate to. I'm not talking about shielding kids; I'm just saying that some ideas are so horrific that they shouldn't be framed in childish terms.
Translating this dark fable to the screen, Herman for the most part maintains the book's oversimplification of historical events, but he nonetheless crafts an affecting drama that refuses to soft-pedal its harrowing conclusion.
John Boyne's almost unfilmable novel about a young German kid's-eye view of the Holocaust gets a solid, ultimately powerful translation to the bigscreen in Brit helmer Mark Herman's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
Writer-director Herman handles a difficult topic with great sensitivity, drawing splendid performances from his young actors with David Thewlis and Vera Farmiga and the other grown-ups reliably efficient.