This 2008 release was issued on DVD earlier this year. Set in 1945 Holland, the Nazi’s are the occupiers, but the war is coming to conclusion and the inhabitants are just biding their time to survive. There are complicated choices to make, because who will ultimately come out on top remains to be seen. The film focuses on a thirteen year old boy whose fantasies are incresingly tested against reality. So – not just another WWII tale of occupation and resistance, but a coming-of-age film as well. The story is from a novel by Jan Terlouw, published in 1975. It was released in paper back earlier this year.
Directed by Martin Koolhoven and filmed by cinematographer Guido van Gennep, the film earned several awards at film festivals in the Netherlands and Italy. I found it a cut above many of the black and white symbols used prevalently in this fim genre – it’s more nuanced than most and probes difficult choices. Who do you trust in a world fraught with the dangers of secrecy? But it doesn’t rise to the level of truly top-notch WWII occupation genre films either (Casablanca, Schindler’s List to name maybe the two most famous). Still, worth a look see. You certainly can do much worse. I know I certainly have.