Geoffrey Rush, Sophie Nélisse and Emily Watson star in the world-war 2 historical drama, based on Markus Zusac’s 2005 best-seller of the same name, The Book Thief. The film details life of a young orphan girl growing up in Nazi Germany who, after being taught to read by her kind-hearted adoptive father, develops a deep love for books amidst a period of unceremonious book burnings and limited access to anything that wasn’t Nazi-approved.
Liesel Meminger (Nélisse) is a young girl who we learn has travelled across Germany to Munich – a journey which came at the cost of her younger brother’s life – and now finds herself utterly alone. She is adopted by a kindly man named Hans Hubermann (Rush) – along with his short-tempered wife, Rosa (Watson) – who, after discovering she is illiterate, elects to teach her to read and write in his spare time. This sparks a deep love for literature in the young girl which is both tested and nourished by the two sides of German culture at the time – she witness the burnings of thousands of books under the Hitler Youth, while the mayor of Munich’s wife, Ilsa Hermann, encourages her to take and read from her husband’s personal library. As her love for reading is tested, so too is her resolve and emotional hardiness as she experiences first-hand the brutality of man under the Nazi regime.
The Book Thief – Tuesday 6:25 on Film 4.