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Children-at-War Films

Movie list created by kathy Avatar

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People who added this item 110 Average listal rating (63 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4


[also known as 'Hitler's Elite']

Director: Dennis Gansel
Starring: Max Riemelt, Tom Schilling, Devid Striesow and Jonas Jägermeyr


In 1942, Friedrich Weimer's boxing skills get him an appointment to a National Political Academy (NaPolA) - high schools that produce Nazi elite. Over his father's objections, Friedrich enrolls, seeing this as his ticket out of factory life to university and a good salary.

During his year in seventh form, this innocence is altered as Friedrich encounters hazing, cruelty, death and the Nazi code. His friendship with Albrecht, the ascetic son of the area's governor, is central to this education; a night in the forest hunting for escaped Russian POWs brings things to a head.
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People who added this item 599 Average listal rating (338 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6


Director: Brian Percival
Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie Nélisse, Nico Liersch, Barbara Auer, Oliver Stokowski, Rainer Bock, Heike Makatsch, Roger Allam and Sebastian Hülk


While subjected to the horrors of WWII Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others, including a Jewish refugee who is being sheltered by her adoptive parents under the stairs in her home.
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People who added this item 1753 Average listal rating (1000 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8


[also known as 'The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas']

Director: Mark Herman
Based on the novel by John Boyne
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Asa Butterfield, Jack Scanlon, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Amber Beattie, Richard Johnson, Sheila Hancock, David Hayman and Jim Norton


A fictional story that offers a unique perspective on how prejudice, hatred and violence affect innocent people, particularly children, during wartime.

Through the lens of an eight-year-old boy largely shielded from the reality of World War II, we witness a forbidden friendship that forms between Bruno, the son of Nazi commandant, and Schmuel, a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed wire fence, their lives become inescapably intertwined.
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People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 7.8
The Bridge (1959)


Director: Bernhard Wicki
Starring: Folker Bohnet, Fritz Wepper, Michael Hinz and Frank Glaubrecht


A group of German boys is ordered to protect a small bridge in their home village during the waning months of the Second World War. Truckloads of defeated, cynical Wehrmacht soldiers flee the approaching American troops, but the boys, full of enthusiasm for the "blood and honor" Nazi ideology, stay to defend the useless bridge.
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People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.5


Director: Donna Deitch
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Brittany Murphy, Paul Freeman and Mimi Rogers


When Hannah Stern, a 13 year-old girl neglectful to her Jewish heritage and "tired of remembering," goes to open the door to the prophet Elijha during the Seder she finds herself in 1940s Poland. After being sent to a Nazi concentration camp she must use her knowledge of the future to survive the past and learn something about the importance of remembering.
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People who added this item 245 Average listal rating (134 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4


Director: George Stevens
Starring: Millie Perkins, Shelley Winters, Joseph Schildkraut and Richard Beymer


With the Gestapo combing Amsterdam in search of Jews, Anne Frank and her parents, Otto and Edith, take refuge for two years in a small attic with another Jewish family, the Van Daans, and a dentist named Albert Dussell. Their refuge is provided by Gentile shop owners Kraler and Miep.

Despite their precarious situation and the sense of claustrophobia created by having to live together in such crowded conditions, covering the windows during the day and keeping as quiet as possible at all times, the families carry on as best they can. For Anne, her platonic romance with Peter Van Daan, the attractive son of often voluble parents, makes the experience more bearable than it is for the adults, whose sense of foreboding is palpable. Anne records everything daily in her diary.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 5.8
Emma's War (1987)


Director: Clytie Jessop
Starring: Lee Remick, Miranda Otto, Mark Lee and Terence Donovan


With husband away at the war, Anne Grange has taken to drinking and dancing with strangers in bars. Meanwhile, her daughters Emma and Laurel thrive under the eccentric tuition of stout Miss Arnott in a college town in the Blue Mountains of Australia until their mother sends them to the countryside to avoid the threatened Japanese bombing raids. There, l4-year-old Emma becomes friends with a young, poetry-reading conscientious objector.
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People who added this item 1375 Average listal rating (721 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.8


Director: Steven Spielberg
Based on the book by J.G. Ballard
Starring: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson and Nigel Havers


An English youth is separated from his family at the start of World War II after the Japanese Army invades British controlled areas of China. Reduced to living on the street and fighting for food, the boy is eventually interned in a Japanese POW camp for British civilians.
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 6.4
Entrusted (2003)


Director: Giacomo Battiato
Starring: Klaus Maria Brandauer, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Claire Keim, Stephen Moyer, Ken Duken, Gottfried John, Thomas Heinze and Giovanna Mezzogiorno


Hoping to entrap Maria von Gall, who runs a courageous underground railroad for Jews in France, the Nazis kidnap her son Thomas, a brilliant 11-year-old chess master. An exchange arrangement goes awry and he sees her die in a hail of bullets; but he is rescued by his American father, whom he has never met before, and who plans to flee with him to Spain.

However, Queen Maria had solemnly entrusted her little pawn Thomas with a precious secret and a terrifying mission, and it was time for him to move. A pawn may become an important piece by slowly, quietly advancing all the way through the enemy's ranks. Or a pawn may die trying. Retreat is what a pawn can never do.
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People who added this item 490 Average listal rating (258 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8


Director: Louis Malle
Starring: Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette and Stanislas Carré de Malberg


A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of the top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
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People who added this item 3121 Average listal rating (1957 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.6


Director: Roberto Benigni
Starring: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano and Horst Buchholz


A Jewish man has a wonderful romance with the help of his humour, but must use that same quality to protect his son in a Nazi death camp.
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People who added this item 86 Average listal rating (48 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.7


Director: Caroline Link
Based on the book by Stephanie Zweig
Starring: Juliane Köhler, Merab Ninidze, Matthias Habich, Sidede Onyulo, Lea Kurka, Karoline Eckertz, Anthony Bate, Andrew Sachs and Diane Keen


A German Jewish refugee family flees Nazi Germany moves to and adjusts to a farm life in 1930s Kenya.
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People who added this item 113 Average listal rating (53 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5
Sarah's Key (2010)


Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Starring: Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup, Aidan Quinn and Frédéric Pierrot


In modern-day Paris, an American journalist finds her life becoming entwined with a young Jewish girl whose family was torn apart during the notorious Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in 1942.
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People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.2
Stray Dogs (2004)


Director: Marzieh Makhmalbaf
Starring: Gol-Ghotai, Zahed, Agheleh Rezaie, Maydeh Gol, Sohrab Akbari and Jamil Ghanazideh


The story of survival of 2 children in post-Taliban Afghanistan. Their mother has been imprisoned for "adultery" and their father is in Guantanamo Bay. They decide to 'adopt' a stray dog that the local children tried to kill because they believed him to be American.
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People who added this item 52 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.2
Theeb (2014)


Director: Naji Abu Nowar
Starring: Jack Fox, Jacir Eid, Hussein Salameh, Hassan Mutlag and Marji Audeh


In 1916, young Theeb lives with his Bedouin tribe in a remote part of the Ottoman Empire. When his older brother has to escort a British officer across the desert, Theeb tags along for the adventure.
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People who added this item 61 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7


Director: Martin Koolhoven
Starring: Martijn Lakemeier, Jamie Campbell Bower, Yorick van Wageningen and Raymond Thiry
.

Nazi-occupied Holland, 1945. In a snow-covered village, thirteen-year-old Michiel is drawn into the Resistance when he aids a wounded British paratrooper.

Michiel's boyish sense of defiance and adventure soon turns to danger and desperation as he is forced to act without knowing whom to trust among the adults and townspeople around him. The wartime harsh reality encroaches on childhood innocence as Michiel confronts good and evil, courage and duplicity, and his own burden of responsibility.
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A list of my favorite war films featuring children, mostly shown from the child's point of view.

Listed in alphabetical order.

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Comments

Posted: 3 years, 12 months ago at Nov 22 16:03
Another great list.
Posted: 3 years, 12 months ago at Nov 22 16:15
Thanks so much and for your vote too. :)
Posted: 3 years, 6 months ago at May 6 12:56
I really liked The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Empire of the Sun is one that I plan on watching soon.

Nice list!
Posted: 3 years, 6 months ago at May 6 14:03
Thanks!
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Aug 27 21:06
Several of these I haven't seen. Hope and Glory, Ivan's Childhood, Come and See, Grave of the Fireflies and Forbidden Games are all fine too.
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Aug 28 8:57
Thanks for the suggestions, Kenji. :) I haven't yet seen any of those films but I will try to do so.
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Aug 29 16:04
Wonderful list. Persepolis (2007) is one you might consider. Although it may not qualify, the true story TV movie Too Young the Hero (1988) about a 12 year-old boy who lied about his age to fight in WWII is one I always remember seeing as a kid.
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Aug 29 16:10
Thanks for the suggestions, Shaun. :) I will definitely try and watch both of those movies.
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Aug 29 16:14
What do you think about this little guy?
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Aug 29 16:26
Thanks, Anna! I'd forgotten about Life Is Beautiful. I'll definitely include it in the list as the whole point of the film is that the father is trying to convince his son that they're playing a game so that he won't realise that they're really in a concentration camp and become scared.

Although unlike the other films in the list, it's not actually shown from the child's point of view.
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Aug 29 20:48
I get it, you are right, I missed the point. sorry :)
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Aug 30 8:55
Don't apologise, I'm grateful for the suggestion and I have added the film to this list. :)
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Aug 30 10:52
So I recommend you The Book Thief (2013). I think that you will be satisfied :)
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Aug 30 10:54
Yes, I intend on watching that film soon. Thanks again, Anna. :)
Posted: 3 years ago at Oct 31 10:34
Villiana: I watched The Book Thief last night and I really liked it (apart from the annoying narration by 'Death'). The two young children playing Liesel and Rudy are really good actors and I look forward to seeing them in other roles. I've added the film to the list. Thanks for suggesting it, Anna. :)
Posted: 3 years ago at Nov 12 16:48
Beautiful but very sad list.
Posted: 3 years ago at Nov 12 16:50
Thanks, Venice. :)
Posted: 2 years, 11 months ago at Dec 15 3:59
nice work on this list!
Posted: 2 years, 11 months ago at Dec 15 10:00
Thank you!
Avatar
Posted: 1 year, 1 month ago at Sep 27 14:17
My favorite will always be Christian Bale in The Empire of the Sun. Amazing performance. And that little kid from Life Is Beautiful.
Posted: 1 year, 1 month ago at Sep 27 17:18
:)
Posted: 6 months, 4 weeks ago at Apr 24 14:47
http://www.listal.com/movie/come-and-see-1985/pictures
Posted: 6 months, 4 weeks ago at Apr 24 14:59
Thanks for the suggestion, Nusch, I will try and watch this film soon.

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