The Book Thief - Stealer of Hearts and Books

Check out our coverage of the movie release, The Book Thief! This is the introduction to a series of posts by my friend David Yenoki, who also blogs at He had the opportunity to meet the lead actors, the director, and the author of the book on which the movie was based. He will be posting about their interviews over the next few days, so check back again soon!

So there’s this movie, The Book Thief. It’s based on a book.

I think you should go see it.

I saw a sneak preview of this movie and I liked it--definitely in the top ten of the year. Wasn’t animated by Pixar or had 3-D dinosaurs trying to eat people.

Instead this film has heart and soul, and I think that’s pretty important. I don’t do a very good job of describing the film because… it’s a difficult film to describe. I don’t want to give away too much about the story because I think there’s something great or thrilling when you’re surprised by the unexpected and I want you to have that. I really do. And then I also have problems because there are very sensitive subjects to balance because the moment you talk about World War II there’s a definite emotional weight that loads people's expectations.

This is not a film about concentration camps. This is a film about a little girl named Liesel. She’s quite an exceptional little girl. She can’t read, she has no money, and she can’t perform magic. She loses her family at the beginning of the film. But still. She perseveres and she overcomes and she’s a great example of what I want to see in the world. Liesel doesn’t let her disadvantages and misfortunes stop her from living and loving.

It should not be a great plot spoiler that Liesel is the book thief in the movie title. This is not a mystery thriller where a little girl hides in the shadows waiting for people to leave books unattended and swoops in to steal them. When I first heard the title “The Book Thief” I assumed it was about some guy who goes around stealing books. I am prone to make assumptions like this. When I first saw the movie I thought “this is a movie about suffering,” but I think that was because I had a pressing bladder, so I was suffering.

Later I came to the conclusion that the movie is about Liesel and her personal strength and her growth as a person. I found this to be inspiring which is why I feel the need to encourage people to watch the film. See it with your family. It has been rated PG-13 and perhaps may be too much for younger children who may not be ready for book burning, air raid shelters, and German cursing.

People around Los Angeles can watch The Book Thief at the Arclight Hollywood and the Landmark. This Friday, November 15th it opens up to a wider release.

For more information, check out the official website
Like the movie on Facebook
Follow @thebookthiefmovie on Twitter
Use the hashtag #TheBookThief on Twitter and Instagram

Based on the beloved bestselling book, THE BOOK THIEF tells the inspirational story of a spirited and courageous young girl who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a new family in World War II Germany. It stars Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie Nélisse, Ben Schnetzer, and Nico Liersch. It was directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey), with a screenplay by Michael Petroni, based upon the novel by Markus Zusak. The film was produced by Karen Rosenfelt and Ken Blancato for Fox 2000.