CT Women

The Book Thief: Being Human in the Midst of Inhumanity

A World War II film with an unexpected theme.
The Book Thief: Being Human in the Midst of Inhumanity
20th Century Fox

"I'm always finding humans at their best and their worst," concludes Death, narrator of the new film, The Book Thief, "I see their ugliness and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both."

"I am haunted by humans."

The Oscar-nominated film The Book Thief is indeed a haunting look at humanity, although an unexpected one for a World War II film.

The film opens in 1938 as a train barrels across Nazi Germany. Liesel Meminger and her brother are soon to be settled in a foster home. Liesel hums a lullaby, and next to her, her mother holds her younger brother's listless body. Suddenly, he is glassy-eyed. "Mama!"

"It's not what you call a soft opening, to meet this 10-year-old girl whose 6-year-old brother dies on page one," says Geoffrey Rush, who plays the role of Liesel's foster father, Hans Hubermann. "Then in the next scene, her mother's a Communist and gets taken away. I can't think ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
Already a CT subscriber?
or your full digital access.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Information about CT Women
CT Women exists to highlight writing by Christian women. We cover trends, ideas, and leaders that shape how women are living out the gospel in our time. Learn more by meeting our advisors and editors.

Read These Next

hide this
Access The Archives

In the Archives

This article is available to CT subscribers only. To continue reading, please subscribe. You'll get immediate access to this article and the entire Christianity Today archives.


Already a subscriber?
or to continue reading.