Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this is a profoundly sad movie about children in the midst of World War II. The title refers to a loss of innocence and the terrible effects of war, ignorance, and bigotry on children. Because there is no overt brutality or violence (much like The Diary of Anne Frank), this film can be a moving and instructive way to bring the historical truths about Nazism and World War II to kids mature enough to understand its lessons. There is a significant amount of swearing, all from the mouths of private school boys, including: "bastard," "s--t," "turd," "whores," "sonofabitch," and more. Some tense scenes show French collaborators and members of the Gestapo searching for Jewish boys. The movie's final crawl reveals the tragic ending that befalls some of the film's beloved characters.
Some mostly subtle references to adolescent boys' curiosity about masturbation, girls, and sex. A short sensual excerpt from The Arabian Knights is read aloud.
A few tense moments when members of the Gestapo and soldiers search a private school for Jewish boys who may be hidden. A boy is forced to pull down his pants (off camera) so officials can determine whether or not he has been circumcised. Two angry youngsters scuffle; no one is hurt. A wild boar scares two boys in the forest. An underlying psychological tension due to the ongoing war.
Private schoolboys delight in occasionally swearing: "t-ts," "ass kisser," "bitch," "cow turd," "hell," "damn it," "bastard," "s--t," and more. Ethnic slurs: "yids," "Jew" uttered as an insult, and priests referred to as "monkeys." A sign states: "No Jews Allowed."
The tragedies of war affect even the most protected of its citizens -- the children. In times of conflict, there are always extraordinary people who will risk their lives in order to do what they know is right.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Schoolboys of various ages sneak cigarettes and smoke in several scenes. They trade other goods for cigarettes, which seem to be a most valuable commodity in private school.