Probably the one movie that has made me cry the most even to this day is The Color Purple. Then next would be Sophie's Choice, Schindler's List and Brad's favorite, Terms of Endearment.
I can now add another one to the list: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
So, to make my list, the movie doesn't have to be a masterpiece- it doesn't really even have to be great. But it does speak to something in me, and even if one scene turns on the sprinklers, I might consider adding it.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas touched me I think in several ways. First, it is about the Holocaust, and I'm set up already to be amazed in horror at the brutality and senselessness.
What is interesting and different though, is that we see the action through the eyes of an 8 year old German boy, who sees the world in a more honest and innocent way than most adults remember.
As he slowly begins to understand what the uniforms and barbed wire really mean, his innocence serves as a kind of wisdom that allows him to cut a swath of truth through the circumstances around him.
Yes, this movie was bordering on schmaltzy. Yes, I know it was pulling at the heart strings in obvious ways, but putting that aside, there is a perspective here that didn't get lost with me.
The lessons of the Nazi era are still relevant today, if not more so.
No one is trying to put gays into death camps in the US.
But we are subject to propaganda campaigns and less than equal civil rights. Some religious leaders rail from the pulpit in ways that sound so similar to the Nazi propaganda in Boy in Pajamas or the whites determined to put poor Sophia down in Purple.
Stories of oppression out of fear and ignorance move me the most.
See this movie.