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Zwartboek (2006)

To fight the enemy, she must become one of them.

Original Title : Zwartboek
Director : Paul Verhoeven
Writer : Gerard Soeteman
Paul Verhoeven
Genre : Thriller
War
Country : Netherlands
Language : Dutch, German
Producer : Graham Begg, Jeroen Beker, Jeremy Burdek, Jamie Carmichael, Regina Frankenberger, Sara Giles, Andreas Grosch, Teun Hilte, Nadia Khamlichi, Micha Kovler, San Fu Maltha, Jindra Markus, Jens Meurer, Henning Molfenter, Marc Noyons, Justine Paauw, Adrian Politowski, Laure
Music : Anne Dudley
Photography : Karl Walter Lindenlaub
Distributor : A-Film Distribution, ContentFilm International, DNC Entertainment, Happinet Corporation, Happinet, Happinet, MG Film, Metro Tartan Distribution Ltd., Mongrel Media, Monopole-Pathé, NFP Distribution, Pachamama Cine, Pathé Distribution, Pathé, Prime Entertainment, So
MPAA Rating : Rated R for some strong violence, graphic nudity, sexuality and language.
IMDB ID : 0389557
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poster for "Zwartboek" by Paul Verhoeven (2006)
Zwartboek (2006) - Paul Verhoeven
 

Starring

Carice van Houten Rachel / Ellis
Sebastian Koch Ludwig Müntze
Thom Hoffman Hans Akkermans
Halina Reijn Ronnie
Waldemar Kobus Günther Franken
Derek de Lint Gerben Kuipers
Christian Berkel General Käutner
Dolf de Vries Notary Smaal
Peter Blok Van Gein
Michiel Huisman Rob
Ronald Armbrust Tim Kuipers
Frank Lammers Kees
Matthias Schoenaerts Joop
Johnny de Mol Theo
Xander Straat Maarten
Diana Dobbelman Mrs. Smaal
Rixt Leddy Anny
Lidewij Mahler Linda
Pieter Tiddens Herman
Gijs Naber Cas
Dirk Zeelenberg Siem
Michiel de Jong David
Jobst Schnibbe Driver Müntze
Boris Saran Joseph
Jack Vecht Mr. Stein
Jacqueline Blom Mrs. Stein
Seth Kamphuijs Brother Max
Herman Boerman Skipper Willi
Skip Goeree Ronnie's Husband
Bert Luppes Mr. Tjepkema
Marisa Van Eyle Mrs. Tjepkema
Heleen Mineur Stientje Tjepkema
Bas van der Horst Jantje Tjepkema
Foeke Kolff Children Tjepkema
Merel van Houts Children Tjepkema
Charlotte Rinnooy Kan Children Tjepkema
Maaike Kempeneers Children Tjepkema
Janni Goslinga Lady in Fur Coat
Wimie Wilhelm Female Prison Guard
Theo Maassen Prison Guard with Baret
Tjebbo Gerritsma Prison Guard with Accordion
Timothy Deenihan Canadian Colonel
Nolan Hemmings Captain British Intelligence
Garrick Hagon British General
Ronald de Bruin Dutch SD in Train
Menno Van Beekum Dutch SD in Train
Marcel Musters Henk
Hugo Metsers Shock Trooper
Rian Gerritsen Drunken Woman in Prison
Susan Visser Drunken Woman in Prison
Maiko Kemper Siegfried
Carsten Sasse German Sentry
Liza de Weerd Receptionist
Willem de Wolf Property Man
Oded Menashe Husband of Rachel Rosenthal-Steinn
Roni Yedid Daughter of Rachel Rosenthal-Steinn
Tomer Agami Son of Rachel Rosenthal-Steinn
Gabriela Lewis Tour Guide
Reinier Bulder Farmer (uncredited)
Emiel Jansen Miscellaneous (voice) (uncredited)
Patrick Kerkhof German chauffeur (uncredited)
Erwin Koremans SS Guard (uncredited)
 

Plot

Israel 1956. Rachel, a Jew, rather unexpectedly meets an old friend at the kibbutz where is she working as a teacher. It brings back memories of her experiences in The Netherlands during the war, memories of betrayal. September 1944. Rachel is in trouble when her hiding place is bombed by allied troops. She gets in contact with a man from the resistance and joins a group of Jews who are to be smuggled across the Biesbosch by boat to the freed South Netherlands. Germans from a patrol boat murder them all however. Only Rachel is able to escape. She is rescued by a resistance group under the leadership of Gerben Kuipers. When Kuipers' son is captured after trying to smuggle weapons, he asks Rachel to seduce SS-hauptsturmführer Ludwig Müntze. Soon she will find out the attack in the Biesbosch wasn't a coincidence. A young Jewish girl is hiding from the Nazi's during the second world war in The Netherlands. After her hiding place is literally blown, she escapes with her rescuer, a young sailer. Thesame night, as she is hiding with the sailer, she is warned by the dutch resistance that their hiding place is located by the Germans and they're on their way. They run the next day with this man to cross over to liberated areas. That night the boat sails onto a trap of the Germans and they kill every person on it. Rachel escapes and joins the resistance. Under the false name Ellis de Vries she meets a SS-official Ludwig Muntze on a train smuggling weapons. After the son of the resistance leader is captured the meeting comes in handy. She goes to the head quarters to meet him again and gain his trust. He soons falls for her and joins his office as a spy. But when someone within the resistance betrays her she is now seen as the bad guy from both sides. All that's left to do is run with the man she learned to love and find a way to prove her innocence by finding the real betrayer. Set during the end of WWII, Black Book is the story of a Dutch Jewish girl who narrowly survives the war in Holland. She joins the resistance to find out who betrayed her family after all of them were killed in an attempt to reach the liberated south.
 

Comments

I saw this film last night at the Toronto International Film Festival and enjoyed it quite a bit. I wouldn't describe it as excellent, but it's definitely entertaining, and my interest never waned despite the nearly 2.5 hour length.The film concerns one young Jewish woman's attempt to stay alive during WWII by any means necessary. Through a series of allegiances which shift with dizzying speed, she does whatever she has to do to survive.Without giving away any plot details, I'll briefly describe my impressions of the film. The lead actress was great - not only is she stunningly beautiful, but she completely made the movie for me. She's very easy on the eyes, and proves to be a remarkable actress, completely believable and sympathetic.The plot moved along swiftly and never lost momentum, although the ever-shifting loyalties and allegiances became overwhelming after a while. Having said that however, the plot did seem a bit predictable and obvious to me, a sort of paint-by-numbers approach to script writing. I didn't find it very suspenseful, although our heroine is such a sympathetic character that I found myself rooting for her throughout, wondering how she'd make it through (since the film is one long flashback, one already knows she'll make it).For a European film it was surprisingly Hollywoodesque, with lots of gratuitous violence and nudity - although I didn't mind the nudity. There were a few scenes which seemed particularly gratuitous and unnecessary: two words - "shit bucket". But luckily these didn't distract too much from the plot.All in all it was an above average movie and well worth seeing if you're a fan of WWII films and don't mind watching a beautiful young woman light up the screen for two hours or so.
 
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