7.8/10
66,665
239 user 234 critic

Black Book (2006)

Zwartboek (original title)
Trailer
1:53 | Trailer

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

Director:

Paul Verhoeven
Reviews
Popularity
4,482 ( 296)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 13 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carice van Houten ... Rachel Stein / Ellis de Vries
Sebastian Koch ... Ludwig Müntze
Thom Hoffman ... Hans Akkermans
Halina Reijn ... Ronnie
Waldemar Kobus ... Günther Franken
Derek de Lint ... Gerben Kuipers
Christian Berkel ... Gen. Käutner
Dolf de Vries Dolf de Vries ... Wim Smaal - Notary
Peter Blok ... Van Gein
Michiel Huisman ... Rob
Ronald Armbrust Ronald Armbrust ... Tim Kuipers
Frank Lammers ... Kees
Matthias Schoenaerts ... Joop
Johnny de Mol ... Theo
Xander Straat Xander Straat ... Maarten
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Netherlands | Germany | UK | Belgium

Language:

Dutch | German | English | Hebrew

Release Date:

18 May 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Book See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€682,184 (Netherlands), 17 September 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$112,521, 8 April 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,398,392, 19 August 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Matthias Schoenaerts, who played Joop, a member of the Dutch Resistance in this film, made a reference to RoboCop (1987) (another film directed by Paul Verhoeven), years later in the French film Rust and Bone (2012), when his character, Ali, nicknames Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard) "RoboCop". In 2012 Schoenaerts was also considered by director José Padilha for the title role in the remake RoboCop (2014), but he dropped out because he thought he wasn't prepared for a big movie like that yet. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

General Käutner: Obersturmführer, open your safe.
Günther Franken: Of course. Which files would you like to see?
General Käutner: None. You're suspected of killing rich Jews. There's nothing wrong with that. But you've been looting the bodies and keeping the valuables for yourself. Failure to turn Jewish property over to the Reich is punishable by death. Open the safe.
Günther Franken: As you wish, Obergruppenführer.
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Connections

References The Blue Angel (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Impressive and heuristic
14 September 2006 | by mm-versteeghSee 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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