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Forced to play a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse in the chaos of war, an elite Army bomb squad unit must come together in a city where everyone is a potential enemy and every object could be a deadly bomb.
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Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.
Zac Mattoon O'Brien,
An eccentric and dogmatic inventor sells his house and takes his family to Central America to build an ice factory in the middle of the jungle. Conflicts with his family, a local preacher ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Prince Bernhard, Prince Consort to the Dutch Queen Julianna, who was inspector general of the Dutch armed forces, was a personal friend of Erik Hazelhof Roelfsma and served as protector of the film. He arranged among other things for the support of the Dutch marines of the production. However, during shooting it was revealed that Prince Bernhard had accepted a $1.1 million bribe from U.S. aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Corporation to influence the Dutch government's purchase of fighter aircraft. The Prince as forced to resign his position as inspector general as a result of this. See more »
When Guus goes to Holland for the first time to instruct the resistance group, he is walking in the street with his transmitter in a trunk and in the street he passes a window which displays a poster which says "staking brengt alleen ellende over uw eigen volk". This instruction (which Guus gives) in the movie takes place in 1942, but this poster wasn't issued by the Germans before the winter 1944-1945 as it refers to the great train strike in the winter of 44-45. 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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