Directed by Mark Heman, based on the novel by John Boyne

Viewing Worksheet 1 (Chapters 1- 5 [27mins])


“Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.” How does this metaphor foreshadow (gives us clues to) what the film might be about?


The opening sequence is a montage (where two or more events are edited together, usually with music playing and little dialogue). List the events that have beenedited together in this montage.

3. What are the soldiers doing to people in this sequence? 4. Who do you think these people are and why are they being treated in this way? 5. Why is Bruno’s family moving house? 6. Why is Bruno sad about moving house? 7. How do the party guests react to Bruno’s father when he enters the room? 8. How does Bruno’s grandmother act towards Bruno’s father? Why do you think she behaves in this way?

When the family arrives at the new house, Bruno is sitting on the stairs. What is symbolic about his position and the architecture of the stairs?

10.How is this symbol reinforced when Bruno looks out his bedroom window? 11.Bruno thinks ‘the farmers’ are strange. His father tells him that “those people are….. ” (complete the quote) 12.Who do you think those people might really be? 13.Why don’t Bruno’s parents tell him who those people really are? 14.Describe the shot when Pavol comes to Bruno after he has fallen off the tyre swing. 15.What was Pavol’s previous occupation?
16. What

two opposing emotions does Mother feel about what Pavol has done for Bruno that cause an internal conflict for her?


Viewing Worksheet 2 (Chapters 5-10 [34 mins])
1. What kinds of things does Herr Listz (the tutor) want the children to study? 2. Why is Bruno jealous of Shmuel?

Directed by Mark Heman, based on the novel by John Boyne

3. The director has framed the shots so that the fence is always in front of who? What effect does this have?

The writer has made the boys the same age, and they have similar opinions of each other’s names. Why has he done this? Bruno goes down to the cellar to look for his football and instead finds what? How has the director made this particularly look disturbing? Bruno is being made to read nationalist propaganda in his lesson. Later, Father tells us that it is what “all the children” are learning these days. Why do you think that is?



7. Shmuel can’t answer Bruno’s question about what is burned in the chimneys. What do you think is burned there? 8. Why does Bruno think the fence exists?

Gretel is reading about “The Jew” in their lesson. Why is Bruno confused by hearing this propaganda?

10.What does Lieutenant Kotler reveal to Mother about the black smoke? Quote from the film. 11.How does Father justify what is happening to the Jews? 12.In this scene, Mother represents how many Germans must have felt at that time. Describe how she msut be feeling. 13.What reason does Gretel give for the Jews being “evil”?
14. Why

does Bruno lie to Kotler about knowing Shmuel and giving him food and how does he feel afterwards? the propaganda film about the Concentration Camp and the purpose of this propaganda.

15. Describe

Viewing Worksheet 3 (Chapters 11-16 [26 mins])
1. What has happened to Shmuel and why?

Directed by Mark Heman, based on the novel by John Boyne


The director has changed the position of the fence in the shots in this exchange, compared to their first meeting. How has it changed?

3. Why has Lietenant Kotler been sent away? How does Mother accuse Father of being hypocritical (doing the opposite to what you expect others to do)? 4. Why won’t Pavil be coming back? 5. The card on Grandmother’s coffin reads “von dem Fuhrer” which is German for “from the Leader.” Who is this card from, and why does Mother say “she wouldn’t have wanted it?”

Shmuel says to Bruno, “I could come through to your side.” Why does Bruno reject this idea? Mother discovers Bruno is not on the swing as he had said he would be. A parallel montage (two events happening at the same time are edited together, so that we go back and forth between each one) begins and continues to to the end of the film. a. b. c. d. What are the two events in this montage? What effect does the parallel montage have on the viewer? Describe the music (verbal techniques) during this montage How has the weather been considered to aid the montage?


8. Inside the Camp, Bruno has second thoughts and wants to go home. Why doesn’t he? 9. What is symbolic about the moment when the music stops at the end of the parallel montage? 10.Describe the final shot of the film and its effect. 11.How are you personally left feeling at the end of this film? Be as detailed as you can.

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