Saturday, July 19, 2014

"The Book Thief" (2013)

When you entertain a story about Germany in the late 1930s, narrated by death, you know going in that you are in for a depressing tale. “The Book Thief” does not disappoint. There is little uplifting or encouraging to be had. And with takeaways like: “I am haunted by humans.” or “I see their ugliness and their beauty and I wonder how the same thing can be both.” You aren’t going to get much in the form of the encouraging or inspirational.

That being said, we need constant reminders of the worst in human nature and in particular the evil that humanity embraced under fascism. “Doomed to repeat” and all that, you know. And this is a beautiful adaptation—and a faithful one—of a beautiful story designed to remind us all of the attitudes and fears that drive us to those evils. So, my recommendation would be to check this film out if you haven’t seen it. Or better yet, read the book then watch the film.

But beware, it is not a pleasantly beautiful story.

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