In 2008, Miramax Films released The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, directed by Mark Herman and starring Asa Butterfield as Bruno. Vera Farmiga was awarded the Best Actress British Independent Film Award for her portrayal of Bruno's mother, and Mark Heyman was nominated for Best Director. The film itself was nominated for a Premio Goya and an Irish Film and Television Award.
The film is quite loyal to Boyne's novel, with a few significant differences. The first is that Bruno is only eight years old in the film. The chapter in which The Fury comes to dinner with Eva at Bruno's family's house in Berlin is not represented in the film. Instead of this scene and other flashbacks that fill in information for the reader, the film begins with a large party scene at Bruno's family's home in Berlin.
The character of Mother is also different in the film: while in Boyne's novel, the extent to which she understand the atrocities of Auschwitz is unclear, in the film, she is completely unaware of the genocide. This makes her character more relatable to the viewer, since she is excused from the responsibility of participating in the Nazi movement.
The end of the film is also altered in order to heighten drama for the audience, as one might expect from any film adaptation. In Boyne's novel, the boys are gassed long before Bruno's clothes are found or the Commandant suspects that his son could become a victim of the Holocaust. In the film, shots of the boys being led to the gas chamber are interspersed with shots of Bruno's family searching for him, and when the gap in the fence is discovered, the audience is left with the impression that it is just barely too late to save Bruno's life.