Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In the movie Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008), the young protagonist Bruno befriends a Jewish prisoner, Shmuel, at a concentration camp near his home. At the end of the movie, Bruno sneaks away from home, breaks in to the camp in order to help Shmuel find his father, and subsequently is taken to a gas chamber to be executed, as he is mistaken for an actual prisoner.

His parents quickly discover he is missing, track him to the camp, and Bruno's father sees an empty barracks, indicating a gassing has taken place. However, they spend very little time searching the camp, and his mother breaks down in tears outside the fence without even seeing the empty barracks.

Why do they assume he has been killed so quickly, without a more extensive search of the area? Is this a case of the viewer knowing Bruno has been killed and they will find evidence eventually?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Since the Father is the commander of the camp, he knows how thorough his orders are carried out, and the lack of mercy his subordinates use. Since the son has never met the subordinate guards, they don't know him by sight. When the barracks are emptied, they are emptied with extreme prejudice. As soon as the Father and mother see the empty barracks, their first thought is obviously that there is no hope in finding their son alive.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.