• Released
  • October 12, 2012
  • (NY, LA)
  • PG-13 , 1 hr 39 min
  • Art House/Foreign
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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that War of the Buttons is an adaptation of a famous French novel about a group of neighboring cliques of boys who engage in a full-scale "war" against one another (success is measured by how many buttons they steal from their enemies). The action is set during World War II -- specifically, the French Occupation -- and includes some moments of cruelty and violence, like when a Jewish family is dragged away from their home by collaborator police officers and when a group of kids lights their nemeses' wooden clubhouse aflame. Kids also get into fistfights with each other and even take turns hitting a "traitor." On the other hand, the kids learn their lesson and work together to save a Jewish teen hidden among them. Young characters and adults both display affection (kissing); there's some subtitled swearing, including "f--k" and "s--t." Adults drink and smoke.
  • Families can talk about War of the Buttons' messages. How does it depict war/conflict? Are there other means of resolving issues?
  • How did the kids' war mirror the issues and themes of WWII? What does Violette mean when she says Lebrac is acting like a Nazi?
  • Some critics have said that War of the Buttons glosses over some of the grittier subject matter of the war, deportations, and a girl in hiding far from her family. Do you agree? Does that matter for this story?
  • What do Lebrac and Violette teach each other about tolerance and friendship?
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