What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this mature drama revolves around the sexual relationship between a 15-year-old boy and a much older woman. There are extensive sex scenes, full-frontal nudity, and a real, raw sense of sensuality throughout the first half of the film. The woman is later revealed to be an ex-Nazi prison guard on trial for her actions during the war; this involves extensive discussion of Nazi Germany's crimes against Jews and other victims of the Holocaust. There's also lots of talk about heavy, complex topics like complicity, guilt, shame, forgiveness, and responsibility. It's worth noting that even with the story's powerful undercurrent of eroticism, the Bernhard Schlink book it's based on is a staple of German high school class reading.
- Families can talk about the controversy around the film's central relationship. Some commentators suggest that if the genders of the partners were reversed, their relationship would be seen as purely abusive and immoral. Do you agree?
- What messages is the movie sending about sex and relationships?
- Families can also discuss the film's central question: How can Germansput Nazi crimes and the Holocaust into perspective in the present?
- Howis this movie similar to and different from other movies that deal withthose events/issues?