Before the beginning of the Second World War the German authorities take away small Lizel Meminger (Sofie Neliss) from communist mother and transfer the girl to education in a family of house painter Hans (Jeffrey Rush) and laundress Rosa Hubermann (Emily Watson). Before illiterate, Lizel by means of Hans masters reading and the letter and starts to "devour" books which it finds in library of the burgomaster. The girl knows the town governor and his wife as the Rose washes for them linen. Meanwhile Hubermanna agree to hide at itself in a cellar of young Jew Max (Ben Shnetser), the son of the soldier who during the First World War covered Hans from a bullet.
The author of the novel «Thief of books» Marcus Zuzak was born and grew in Sydney. His parents – natives of Germany and Austria, emigrated in the late fifties
When Americans think of Germans of the 1940th, they imagine exclusively comical «зольдатен», one hand doing «зиг хайль», and other hand digging to themselves a grave waiting for the American invasion into France. We have no such problem. In 1949 sculptor Evgeny Vuchetich established in the Berlin Treptov-park a statue "Soldier liberator" where the Soviet soldier was represented with the little German girl. Since then our military art only also did more than half a century, what humanized the German people, German soldiers, German officers and even the highest German chiefs (remember «Seventeen instants of spring»?) . Therefore the main message of «The thief of books», seeming unusual in the USA, causes boredom in us. Certainly, in Germany there were children not involved in everything that Germans created in Europe. Certainly, in Germany there were adults who saw Hitler and nazis in a coffin and which in process of forces and to bravery put a spoke in the wheel of a Reich. And if gollivudets want to tell about it, they should offer us something bigger, than transfer of the trivial facts for our culture.
The featured actress, beginning Canadian actress Sofie Neliss, for the sake of shootings in the film refused preparation for Olympic Games of 2016. Until recently she was considered as the gymnast of national value
At founders of «The thief of books», however, it did not turn out. Though the screen version of the novel of Marcus Zuzak carries out the base task on "perfectly". Here blond angels (the main character and her best friend) which though sing school songs about bad Jews, but do not distinguish the nation and with readiness help «унтерменшу». Here the young Jew who does not look as the dangerous enemy of Germany though hates Hitler. Here ingenuous, but the noble German couple (warm as a hot-water bottle Rush and grumbling, but too goodhearted Watson) which hides houses of the Jew, risks for the sake of it and shares life the last crumb. And here some minor positive Germans who at the end of the film with a clear conscience will smile to the American soldiers: «Hello, liberators!» That the audience did not mix bad Germans with good, not numerous bad Germans in a picture speak German (with subtitles), and good Germans – in English. And it is correct. There is no need to defile Shakespeare’s adverb tirades about greatness of the Fuhrer. Let on it say only gentle, quivering words. And to Goethe’s adverb it already nothing to lose – let is answerable for itself and for that guy!
As you can see, «The thief of books» does not hesitate of the most primitive manipulation with spectator feelings to convince, what even at the height of war in Germany there lived good Germans. But for more than two-hour film of it it is small. And all attempts of a picture to tell something else appear a zilch.
So, the tape spends a lot of time for the relations of heroes with books, but shows only that literature – piece harmful. Because the most widely-read characters – Max and the wife of the burgomaster – appear as stout weaklings, and Lizel who at the beginning of the film arranges scolding to the hooligan, to the ending turns into the powerless intellectual capable only far from another’s ears to cry out: «I hate Hitler!» Opposite, Hubermanna in which house is not present the uniform book, do not shout, and operate, faithfully caring about Lizel and Max. And the best friend Lizel, too not the devoted reader, in several scenes proves to be where the big hero, than it.
Anything interesting and substantial do not introduce in the film and offscreen monologues on behalf of Death. On the contrary, they square pathos of a tape and turn a touching narration into the trite.