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Monique van de Ven,
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Jennifer Jason Leigh,
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11 year old Amsterdam schoolboy Ciske, a scamp with a heart of gold, causes havoc in the classroom pouring ink over his teacher. Yet when a polio-crippled boy joins the class Ciske is one ... See full summary »
Danny de Munk,
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In January 1945, during the 2nd world-war, the Dutch resistance kills a collaborator in the street where the 12 year old Anton Steenwijk lives. The man was shot in front of his neighbors ... See full summary »
Derek de Lint,
Marc van Uchelen,
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During his 50th birthday party thrown by his wife, Remco's life takes a turn for the worse. His business partners are scheming behind his back to sell him out and his former mistress shows up pregnant.
This film depicts World War II through the eyes of several Dutch students. It follows them through the beginning of the war, the Nazi occupation and the liberation. Written by
Mark Logan <email@example.com>
Rijk de Gooyer, who plays Gestapo collaborator Breitner, was part of the resistance in the Netherlands during World War II. As a result, he harbored quite some anti-German sentiments towards his fellow actor Reinhard Kolldehoff, who plays Wehrmacht General Geisman. This even went as far as firing a gas pistol next to Kolldehoff's head just before they had a scene together. See more »
During the scenes of the invasion of Holland, the Dutch troops are shown wearing post-1940 insignia. See more »
Paul Verhoeven films are notorious for everything except what they should be known for: portraying reality in a frank, no-lies manner that few other filmmakers even dare to attempt. It's nice to know that, in this era of Hollywood churning out films that look more like video games or music videos, Verhoeven continues to make films that push envelopes and give the audience something to think about.
Soldaat van Oranje, like its American counterpart twenty years later, is a film about war that takes its subject by the horns and doesn't let go at any moment. As we are introduced to the group of Dutch students whose eyes we see World War II through, we see a reflection of one rarely acknowledged truth: that numerous ordinary, everyday people, ignorant of what was really going on in Nazi Germany, couldn't have cared less about what was going on. It was only when the reality of the war was brought to them, as the Germans invaded Holland, that these students sat up and took notice of what the war was doing to ordinary people. Indeed, early on in the film, Hauer's character even says that a spot of war would be "exciting".
Another reality that this film prefers to hit the viewer square in the face with is that while the war changed a lot of aspects of everyday life for everyone, there were some things that stayed the same regardless. In the scene where Hauer's character is attempting to board a boat bound for England, the German army's refusal to let the sailors on board prompts a quick "back to the pub" response from the working-class sailors. Business as usual in that respect.
Considering that this is a Paul Verhoeven film, it is actually quite surprising how little violence there is to be found here. Granted, it is not a family film, and some of the torture scenes will make your blood boil as well as make some sick people like myself chuckle, but unlike the film that Verhoeven made with numerous references to this one twenty years later, there is surprisingly little blood and gore. Indeed, unlike the sarcastic satire of Starship Troopers, Soldaat Van Oranje tells its story in a restrained, almost documentary-like manner that is surprising as well as creative.
All in all, I'd give Soldaat Van Oranje a qualified ten out of ten. It is not going to appeal to everyone, and some just won't get it at all, but it delivers a powerful story about the loss of innocence and freedom that should be required viewing in all schools, not just Dutch ones. Oh, and I cannot remember who said it, but they are right about one thing: the footage of the Queen returning to Dutch soil made me want to shout "Oranje boven!", and I am not even Dutch.
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