Movie poster for ‘The Book Thief.’ Courtesy photo
Review by KELLY DOLEJSI
A coming-of-age story set in Germany during World War II, “The Book Thief” (2013, PG-13) is about a girl whose communist mother is compelled to give her up to a foster home. It’s about a new family that forms under the flying swastikas. It’s about people doing “what people do.”
It will screen at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library
Brian Percival’s film highlights regular people’s humanity — our irrepressible will to care for others, no matter the risk to ourselves.
After witnessing her brother’s death and saying goodbye to her mother, Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) moves into the Hubermanns’ modest home. Hans and Rosa (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson) welcome the girl as their daughter, and Hans especially seems happy to have someone to dote on.
Soon, a promise Hans made long ago comes knocking, and Liesel learns first-hand that Germany “winning the war” would not mean at all what she had thought. She also learns that using words, saying them aloud or writing them down, distinguishes human beings. She begins choosing hers with intention.
Based on the novel by Markus Zusak, “The Book Thief” focuses on its characters’ strengths, their small acts of defiance, and their unique ways of holding onto their souls. Some of its scenes are horrifying to watch, but even in those the victims keep their dignity. Their humanity never falters.
While there are many facets of World War II worth remembering, maybe most important is the compassion and empathy of ordinary people, and the difference it can make.
The show is part of the Free Film Series, which brings movies to the library’s upstairs meeting-room theater on the first Thursday of nearly every month. All screenings are free, thanks to the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries.
For more information, call the library at 505.662.8240 or check online at http://www.losalamosnm.us/library/Pages/default.aspx under “Upcoming Events.”