Friday, January 31, 2014

Movie Review: The Book Thief

By M. J. Joachim

World War II has always intrigued me, especially segmented stories about unique individuals touched by its wrath. The Book Thief is such a movie. It is about a young girl named Liesel whose family is torn apart, and her struggle to come to terms with it.

Throughout the background of the film, there is a sense of the tragedy and devastation that took place during WWII. Hardship was plentiful, even for the Germans. An underlying message escapes. A lot of average German citizens didn’t always agree with Hitler. Most were scared – of their changing culture, the war and even Hitler. Some risked their lives to remain true to their beliefs. As it happens, quite a few Germans were simply afraid of their government and didn’t know what to do about it. Their country had been taken over by Hitler, and there was little if anything they could do to stop him on their own.

Food was scarce for many Germans during WWII. They were treated poorly, especially if they tried to take a stand in favor of human rights. Bombs were exploding throughout the country, and various neighborhoods and communities ended up in piles of rubble, complete with the loss of German lives.

The impact and lessons learned from WWI were not lost on them. Some of the characters we meet in The Book Thief, served in WWI and were now facing the terror of serving in WWII as well. As a whole, the German people did not want to go to war again. I think it’s safe to say very few citizens in countries throughout the world, actually wanted to participate in another world war.

At a time when Liesel might choose to be stealing food, she chose instead to borrow books. Reading gave her a new window with which to view the world; it gave her hope and the courage to face her unknown future.

I’m not going to spoil the movie for you. It’s far too good for that. There is so much this film has to offer. It truly inspires and touches one’s heart and soul, lifting them up and making them reach toward bigger thoughts and revelations. I hope you’ll take the time to see The Book Thief, because you won’t be disappointed if you do.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. I’ll see you again soon.

M. J.

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Photo credit:  Book Burning, Nazi Germany, National Archives and Records Administration, PD-US