THE BOOK THIEF
Steals the Heart
Release Date: November 15, 2013
Audience: Family, Drama
Runtime: 131 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox/21st Century Fox
Director: Brian Percival
Executive Producer: Redmond Morris
Writer: Michael Petroni
Address Comments To:Rupert Murdoch, Chairman/CEO, News Corp.
Chase Carey, President/COO, News Corp.
Jim Gianopulos, Chairman/CEO, Fox Filmed Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Film Corp. (A Subsidiary of 21st Century Fox) (Fox Searchlight Pictures/Fox 2000/Fox Atomic/FoxFaith)
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Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000; Website: www.fox.com
The story opens in 1938 on a train headed for Munich. Liesel watches her younger brother Warner who has quietly just died in his sleep. At a makeshift burial beside the railroad tracks, a gravedigger puts the finishing touches on the grave and inadvertently drops a book to the ground. Thinking the book belonged to her brother, Liesel quickly snatches it and runs.
The female German social worker brings Liesel to the home of Hans and Rosa Huberman (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson). The couple had agreed to foster two children for a monetary allowance. The 11-year-old Liesel, still reeling from her brother’s death, stands in front of the Huberman’s home on “Heaven” Street.
Liesel clutches her book. The cold atmosphere of the strangers’ home is quickly melted by the delightfully warm Hans. Insisting on being called Papa, he discovers Liesel cannot read and decides to teach her. A simple sign painter, he struggles to put food on the table amidst economic hardship. Refusing to join the Nazi party continues to put what little work he has at risk. Tensions are growing throughout town.
A young boy named Rudy befriends Liesel. She, in turn, defends Rudy from the town bully. Rudy and Liesel are soul mates.
After a National Socialist book burning, Liesel rescues a copy of THE INVISIBLE MAN by H.G. Wells. Smoking but not yet consumed. The wealthy burgomaster’s wife witnesses the act but says nothing.
Meanwhile, a sickly Jewish man, Max, running from the Gestapo arrives on the adoptive parents’ doorstep. Max’s father died to save Hans in World War One. Hans promised he would always be there for Max’s family, so they shelter him even though it puts them at risk of death themselves. Rosa’s overburdened and thunderous demeanor gives way to a deeply caring woman. She asks Liesel to take a basketful of laundry to the Burgomeister or mayor of the village. The Burgomeister’s wife recognizes Liesel and invites her to use the exquisite library.
Eventually, Max decides to leave so Liesel’s foster parents won’t get into trouble, but the father, Hans, is conscripted into the German army. This leaves Liesel and Rosa to fend for themselves. As the struggle to survive the war continues, Liesel gives hope to some of the people by reading from her beloved books and telling fabulous stories.
The story of this little girl who transformed and touched so many lives is wrapped up by the voice of a Narrator, the voice of the Angel of Death. Echoing Scripture, “even angels long to look into these things,” the Angel confesses “I am haunted by humans.” Even so, the Angel of Death never mentions salvation, Jesus Christ or any aspect of the one true Triune God.
Based on the New York Times best seller, THE BOOK THIEF is wonderfully directed by Brian Percival of DOWNTON ABBEY. The performances are delightful and heartwarming, despite the difficult circumstances. THE BOOK THIEF tells a positive Christian, moral tale of adoption and self-sacrifice.
Regrettably the movie is pro-Communist in parts and deceptively uses the old Communist ploy of distinguishing between National Socialism and International socialism. Also, the act of stealing is treated as a joke.
Rated PG-13, there some swearing in German that is not fully translated and violence includes adoptive mother disciplines a little girl, National Socialist thugs bash windows of Jewish shop owners, men and women kicked and brutalized by soldiers, girl beats up boy, boy beats another boy, two boys die, brutality, air raid bombs explode, and dead bodies recovered afterward. THE BOOK THIEF does deal with some serious subject matter.
Even so, THE BOOK THIEF shows Christian love and compassion. It merits caution.
Based on the New York Times best seller, THE BOOK THIEF is wonderfully directed by Brian Percival of DOWNTON ABBEY. The performances are delightful and heartwarming, despite the difficult circumstances. THE BOOK THIEF tells a positive Christian, moral tale of adoption and self-sacrifice. Rated PG-13 for brutality, war themes, propaganda, and violence, THE BOOK THIEF requires caution for some serious subjects and some propagandistic elements.