The boy in the striped pajama is a movie which takes place during the World War II during the Nazi’s time (Herman, 2008). The story revolved around a family and how they have shifted near Holocaust camp. The son of the family, Bruno, is a protagonist and story revolve around his exploration of places nearby and how he discovered new things and people around him. Bruno’s father is a commandant in a Jewish concentration camp. He lives with his mother and a sister when his father is on duty. Because of the new place, Bruno has noone of same age to play with him and he tries to explore the area on his own. The exploration of Bruno leads him to a physical fence where he met a boy of the same age, and soon their meetings grow into friendships. The boy named was Shmuel but the attire he was wearning was different from Bruno’s and has stripes on the dress. Several themes are explored in the movie such as innocence, friendships, race, and violence.
The theme of innocence is the one which is present throughout the film as the Bruno is living in the war and conflicted area but is unable to realize the real truth. He is naïve and considers that having striped pajamas is just a uniform. He is also unaware of all the difficulties the Shmuel and people on the other side of the fence have been going through. Also, the development of friendship between these two young boys is because of their innocence and childlike nature where they do not think that they are different from each other. The emotional and thought-provoking tone of the movie is because of the juxtaposition of such innocence amidst of evil of Nazi’s for the Jews. Friendship is built out of the simplicity and irrespective of the physical fence or boundaries. Bruno and Shmuel have come from an entirely different context and background, but they share a bond where unknowingly they are attached to each other and even in the end because of friendship Bruno got caught in the gas chamber and died. The holding hands even in the chambers provide an essence of friendships even in the toughest times. The theme of innocence and friendship in the war area reinforces that hatred, evilness and prejudices are learned and practiced behaviors and inherently all the human beings are kind and friendly toward others.
Even though the theme of race is not apparent in the movie, but it is there in the film when Bruno teacher is teaching him about anti-Semitism which is discrimination against Jews and nationalists. The physical fence can be a discriminatory figurative language between Bruno and other Jews. The fence is an arbitrary boundary between the Jews and the others, and use of striped pajamas also can be taken as a difference between Jews and others. Also, how the interaction between the two young boys was not considered as a good thing and they were forced to stop meeting after the incident which took place at Bruno’s home. Also, when Bruno inquired the father about people in the striped pajamas and his father replies that they are not people clearly indicate the hatred towards Jews people. Giving a certain type of clothing to a group of people is an expression which provides a view that their identity has been taken away. They were brought to home for cleaning and other purposes which also signify metaphorically about the racial discrimination against Jews. The actions of Bruno’s father and other soldiers clearly depict the prejudice against Jews.
The theme of the violence is filmed in a way that it is the invisible elephant in the room because while watching the film it can be felt but there are no violent scenes. For instance, when the Shmuel came after the incident of having cake at Bruno’s home during cleaning with a black eye it shows that he has been beaten and assaulted, but it is not filmed. There are also other incidents of violence which are indirectly shown in the movie, but it is not the upfront theme. There are other things which led to violence such as lies, deception, and betrayal. An example, of betrayal, is when Bruno denied knowing Shmuel and Shmuel got beaten by the soldiers. The confinement of Shmuel and other people is also indicating violence and towards the end when all the people are in the gas chamber and are not able to find a way is an act of genocide against Jews by the Nazi’s. Bruno’s death with the Jewish people also signifies that people should treat others the way they want to be treated.
The movie has explored race and violence as a cultural issue and conflict issue. Even though the movie is set out from the perspective of a young boy but it shows the difference in a culture and two different living condition and level of freedoms on both sides of the fence. The conflict with the Jews is because of cultural conflicts, and the film has displayed the Jewish as a discriminatory group, and their lives are not meaningful since there was genocide occurring during the holocaust. The movie is a slight insight of what happened during World War II and how the innocent people also became the victim because of belonging to certain race. For instance, Shmuel and other people just became the victims of violence and genocide because they were Jewish. It also enlighten how the irrational decision of one person can result in violence and death of many people. The movie has demonstrated the unfairness, fear, and heartlessness of Nazi’s. Also, the culturally unacceptability is one of the reasons why genocide occurs as what happens in Nazi’s conflict with Jews. The racial conflict was the main reason of the genocide, and this movie is based on that cultural conflict. Even the death of Bruno is because of his father’s decision and the thought his father has against the Jews.
I would strongly recommend this movie to nursing students as the issues discussed here are essential for providing patient care. For example, cultural acceptance is one of the leading problem discussed in the movie and nursing students should be aware that everyone should have the same treatment or patient care regardless of their culture or racial background. The issue is significant because cultural and linguistic barriers between patients and healthcare providers can influence the provided quality of care (Truong, Paradies, & Priest, 2014). For instance, if a healthcare provider has their prejudices about certain cultures or races then they are more likely to provide treatment which is not sufficient or meet the needs of the patients. Also, the behavior of the healthcare provider can be rude and disrespectful toward the patient if the healthcare providers are not trained about cultural sensitivity and cultural acceptance. Culturally appropriate treatments and skills can increase the efficacy of the service provided. The culturally acceptable healthcare providers are the nurses and the community workers. Although the organization and healthcare systems are different in different countries (Dauvrin & Lorant, 2015) but nurses are universal healthcare providers. Other providers are community healthcare workers who aim to provide the health services, and educational programs are culturally respectful healthcare providers. The healthcare providers are respectful of cultures, and their work is considered as important for serving humanity, and people around the globe are respecting them. So it is essential for these professionals to provide the patient care without personal prejudices and discrimination of culture, race, religion or ethnicity. Culturally sensitive interventions are implemented across the globe with different models of care and service provision (Truong et al., 2014). The global awareness to the cultural sensitivity would result in positive change for the country.
In conclusion, the movie is thoughtful and put the horrible Nazi’s act of violence from the perspective of a child. The movie explores on the theme of innocence, childhood, friendships, race and violence. The cultural conflict of the film provides an overview of the lives of two children and how their context is different from one another. This movie is relatable to nursing and healthcare because cultural acceptance is an essential concept in patient care and the quality of care.