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Nova Zembla (2011)

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A Dutch exploration team sets sail to find the North East passage to the Indies. The weather had other ideas for them.


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Credited cast:
Catharina Plancius
Willem Barentsz
Petrus Plancius
Gerrit de Veer
Mads Wittermans ...
Teun Kuilboer ...
Pieter Vos
Victor Reinier ...
Jacob van Heemskerck
Bas Keijzer ...
Juda Goslinga ...
Jochum van der Woude ...
Jan Fransz
Herman Egberts ...
Arjan Duine ...
Donja de Wit ...
Rich lady
Arend Brandligt ...


This fact based drama chronicles the last journey of Willem Barentsz and Jacob van Heemskerk on their search for a new passage to the Indies. Due to icy waters, they are stranded on the island of Novaya Zemlya and have to spend the winter there. The story is told through the eyes of Gerrit de Veer, an officer on the same voyage, and is loosely based on the famous diary he published in 1598 after his safe return. Written by mahajanssen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History



Official Sites:



Release Date:

24 November 2011 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Conquest  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The replica of the early 18th century Russian Shtandart was used as a stand-in for the 16th century Dutch ship De Windhond. See more »


In the late 16th century Dutch sailing-ships typically had high castle-like sterns. The arched type stern in the movie came into use a century or two later. See more »


Featured in Eva Jinek op zondag: Episode #1.10 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Attractive film in the adventure tradition
27 April 2012 | by (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – See all my reviews

The Age of Exploration (or age of Discovery). Those 200 years (more or less) from 1450 to 1650, when a few brave men coming from Western Europe, traveling in fragile wooden ships and armed with primitive fire weapons, basically conquered the world. It's strange that very few movies have been made out of that era. Perhaps this is so because this era is now a bit politically incorrect (since it many times involved Europeans invading and conquering Native people). But movies dealing with early polar exploration should not have such a problem, since there were few if any native people there. So here comes this fine film from the Netherlands that tells the true story of Willem Barents, the Dutch navigator that seeking a Northern route to China (Spain, being in war with the Netherlands at the time make it difficult for Dutch ships to go to the east through the Cape of Good Hope) reached in 1596 (more than three centuries before the North Pole was reached) the island of Nova Zembla in the High Arctic Sea, an island that is now a part of Russia. However, the ice soon broke the ship and the crew has to spend in the island a harrowing winter. Shot in 3D mostly in Iceland, this film is handsomely made, with a good, classic storytelling. The story is mostly told through the eyes of Gerrit de Veer, the young, inexperienced chronicler in the expedition. Famous Dutch model Doutzen Kroes has a small role, appearing mostly in flashbacks, as Gerrit's fiancé back in Holland (she was obviously hired because she was believed to be a box office draw, not because her character was really needed in the story).

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