Fans of Markus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief will be pleased to hear that the film adaptation is going to be released in perfect time for next year’s Academy Awards and if the trailer’s anything to go by, the film is going to be stunning.
The book is narrated by Death, who apparently isn’t the narrator of the film, instead reduced to a cameo appearance. Outside of that, the story follows Liesel (Sophie Nélisse), an orphan fostered by the Hubermanns (played by Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson). The Hubermanns take in a Jewish refugee, Max (Ben Schnetzer), who hides in their cellar and Liesel strikes up a friendship with him. Meanwhile, Liesel’s difficult life is made more bearable by the books she steals from the mayor’s wife, despite the fact that she gives Liesel full access to her library.
The book is much loved and if the film is sensitively made, it’ll be equally popular. Nazi Germany has long since proved a popular subject for filmmakers. Here’s a selection of some of the best films inspired by the events of the Holocaust.
4. Apt Pupil
Apt Pupil is an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, originally published in Different Seasons. Richard Kobritz, the producer, had tried for years to develop it into a film but production was plagued with difficulties. First of all, no fewer than two actors who’d been in the running to play Dussander died. Then when filming finally began, financing was pulled, forcing the production to close unfinished. After the rights reverted to King, Bryan Singer asked to film the film, which was finally released in 1998.
The film is a fictional account of a Californian high school student, Todd Bowden (Brad Renfro), who realises that a local man, Arthur Denker, is, in fact, notorious Nazi war criminal Kurt Dussander (Ian McKellan). Bowden is obsessed with Nazi Germany and under threat of revealing his secret, coaxes Dussander to tell him about his military experiences.
Apt Pupil is an examination of the face of evil and how easy it is to dehumanise people in the right circumstances. It received mixed reviews, although Renfro and McKellan won a number of minor awards.