Best-selling novel gets the silver screen treatment

Fri, Sep 5, 2008, 01:00

A MOVIE described as being "a very, very powerful film . . . that you need to bring a Kleenex to", received its premiere in Dublin last night.

Director Mark Herman was commenting on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, adapted from Irish writer John Boyne's novel of the same name.

Boyne returned to the Savoy cinema in Dublin last night, a place he has gone to "a thousand" times to see movies himself, for the premiere. He said the ending was "very harsh, truthful and uncompromising", and the movie was "faithful" to his original creation.

It was a "surreal" experience to stand on the red carpet in the theatre on O'Connell Street for the gala occasion, he said.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamashas been translated into 35 languages and has sold more than three million copies worldwide - 500,000 in Ireland.

Boyne said its success has enabled him to achieve his ambition of being a full-time writer with mass readership, and made him more confident in his abilities. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamaschronicles the friendship between two boys - Bruno, whose father is appointed commandant of a Nazi concentration camp, and Shmuel, a Jew held in the camp.

Herman remarked that although the film was funded "with American money, it did not have a Hollywood ending".

A total of €8,750 was raised for Amnesty International Ireland through the premiere, as it was a partner organisation in the event. Over 780 guests attended and 250 of them paid €35 for tickets.

Colm O'Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said the film should help people to recommit to the principles of human rights.

David Thewlis and Rupert Friend, two of the film's main stars, were present. Guests included South Africa's ambassador to Ireland, Priscilla Jana, actors Seán McGinley and Liam Cunningham, Oscar winner Glen Hansard and writer Kate Thompson.