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Black Book (2006)

Zwartboek (original title)
R | | Drama, Thriller, War | 18 May 2007 (USA)
1:53 | Trailer

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In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.


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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 13 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
General Käutner
Dolf de Vries ...
Notary Wim Smaal
Van Gein
Ronald Armbrust ...
Tim Kuipers
Xander Straat ...


Israel 1956. Rachel, a Jew, rather unexpectedly meets an old friend at the kibbutz where she is 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. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

resistance | hiding | boat | escape | nazi | See All (380) »


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


Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence, graphic nudity, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

18 May 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Book  »

Box Office


$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£166,362 (UK) (19 January 2007)


$4,398,392 (USA) (17 August 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was the official Netherlands entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 79th Academy Awards. It was on the shortlist of nine films competing for a nomination, but it did not make it to the final five, announced on the 23 January 2007. See more »


You can hear the sound of common swifts while they try to kidnap Van Gein. These birds migrate in august and are not present in the Netherlands during winter. See more »


Gerben Kuipers: Ellis, a girl didn't show up today. Would you replace her?
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: Work is work, right?
Gerben Kuipers: Even if it is dangerous?
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: What have I got to lose?
Gerben Kuipers: Your life...
See more »


Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »


A Hundred Years from Today
Composer: Victor Young
Arranged and Produced: Piet Souer
Authors: Joe Young, Ned Washington
Performed by Carice van Houten
Publisher: EMI Robbins Catalog Inc.
Netherlands: EMI Music Publishing (Holland) BV
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Impressive and heuristic
14 September 2006 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

It took me about an hour after having seen the film to find any enthusiasm to write this review. The film Black Book, or Zwartboek in Dutch, is very impressive, with an excellent feeling for the complexity of inter-human relationships.

The story is about a Jewish girl that finds herself in a powerless situation in a war that tends to bring out the worst in all, 'good' or 'bad'. So much for what we know without seeing the film for ourselves. The film starts out rather typical, informing us with what we already new about the war: people where poor, hungry and trying to survive. However, the second part of the film shows a less well known part of Dutch resistance history: that the war brings out the worst in everybody. Without losing sight of the importance of the resistance against the foreign repression, Paul Verhoeven confuses his audience by visualizing how ones own well-being seems to go at the cost of the well-being of another. No black and white, no bad or good, but only the individual choice, that is tormented by the will to survive and a feeling for morality.

The film is daring for showing the dark side of the Dutch national history. However, the most valuable of the film is that it captivates its audience and sensitizes its audience for the misery of the historical event of World War II, but also the contemporary difficulties that affects human beings rather than countries. A must see, even though it makes you feel miserable.

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