What did the Holocaust look like through the eyes of Jewish children consigned to the concentration camps? Or through the eyes of an entirely normal Nazi family whose father was "promoted" from Berlin to Commandant of a death camp in the countryside? Bruno is only eight years old, so he's naturally curious about the "farm" only a few hundred yards from his family mansion, where people wear striped pajamas with numbers on them. Where black smoke billows from chimneys, and where horrid smells fill the air. And if Pavel was a doctor, why is he now wearing those pajamas and peeling potatoes for his family? Bruno forms an unlikely friendship through the electric barbed wire with another eight-year-old, Shmuel. The innocence that they share puts into bold relief the horrendous consequences of the Holocaust — for the Jews, of course, but in unlikely and catastrophic ways for every member of this prim, proper, and patriotic family whose father was responsible for "making the world better." The film explores a horrible paradox of the Holocaust — that an evil of unimaginable magnitude was carried out by everyday people just like us.