When reading the title of this movie in a magazine that announced it and being a Dutch speaking Belgian, I thought that the title of this movie had to be some kind of printing error. I knew that this was a Dutch production and I was convinced that it should be called "De Droom" or "The Dream" in English, but not something in between the two. But to my own surprise this was the correct title, because this was not a Dutch spoken movie, but one in the Frisian dialect, making this the first time that I had to watch a Dutch movie with subtitles.
"De Dream" is situated in between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, in the Northern province of Friesland (I don't know how it is called in English, so I'll use the Dutch name for it). As everywhere else in Europe, the socialists are gaining a lot of strength among the poor part of the population. Since this is a very rural area, it's the group of poor farmers who have to work hard for some rich farm owners, that is very interested in this new ideology. When a farmer is robbed during the night and shots are fired, it doesn't take long before the authorities have a culprit. They are convinced that Wiebren Hogerhuis and his brother are their main suspects - Wiebren is one of the socialist leaders, he has a big mouth and has already been for quite some time a thorn in the flesh of the Dutch authorities - but in reality the man is innocent. However, because he has left the farmer's daughter after a long (purely sexual) relationship, she is willing to testify against him. This and the fact he's too stubborn to admit that he's innocent plus the fact that some of his so-called comrades prefer to stay mute, rather than to come forward to admit that they did it or to tell that they know who the real robbers are, mean that he faces several years of imprisonment...
Despite the fact that I'm used to watch movies with subtitles (we only get to see the original versions over here, our movies are never dubbed), I must say that it wasn't always easy with this movie. The fact that they regularly switched between Dutch and Frisian may not be noticeable to all the people that don't speak any of both languages, but when you get parts of a movie with and parts without subtitles, this can sometimes be a bit confusing. But that certainly didn't spoil my fun. The acting for instance was more than OK. I only know Huub Stapel from earlier productions, but all other actors were very nice to watch as well. Also very interesting was the story. Normally you would expect a storyline like: the poor socialist peasants can't do anything wrong, the government officials are the real bogeymen. Well, not this time. The line between good and bad, between red and orange,... wasn't always very obvious. That's also the reason why this movie had a more realistic feeling than what I expected at first.
Overall this is a very good, historically inspired movie that despite the fact that the subject on itself isn't extremely original anymore, still is worth more than a try. The acting is good, the story is very well written and the overall quality is more than OK. That's why I give this movie a 7/10.
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