Friends Peter(Robert Sean Leonard) and Thomas(Christian Bale) become bitter enemies in this historical drama set in Germany on the brink of World War II. The friends disagreement is a microcosm of the larger turmoil.
Thomas who was once a misfit and a “swing kid,” begins to accept Nazi propaganda as truth. Peter, who never really understood the heroism of his father, comes to understand and embrace dissent. Even though he is in the minority, he refuses to accept the status quo.
The movie dramatizes the “SwingJugend,” and Edelweiss Pirates who resisted Nazi control by listening and dancing to forbidden music. In 1937, jazz and a select group of musicians were banned in Germany.
For more on this topic, read Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of the Edelweiss Pirates, Teenagers who Resisted the Nazis by K.R. Gaddy.