Near the end of World War II, 14-year-old Michiel becomes involved with the Resistance after coming to the aid of a wounded British soldier. With the conflict coming to an end, Michiel comes of age and learns of the stark difference between adventure fantasy and the ugly realities of war.Written by
Pusan International Film Festival
Due to all the scenes of conflict between Michiel (Martijn Lakemeier) and his father Johan (Raymond Thiry), director Martin Koolhoven had great difficulty in establishing the fact that they have a strong bond, despite their differences. Co-writer Mieke de Jong finally came up with the scene where Johan shows Michiel how to shave his face. See more »
When Michiel shoots Oom Ben in the woods, the hammer of the pistol goes from the fully cocked position before the shot, to a semi-cocked position after the shot. The action of the pistol should have cocked the hammer all the way back. Almost to the web of Michiel's hand. See more »
I recently saw this at the 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival where the film's director Martin Koolhoven was on hand at my screening for an audience Q&A following the film. Based on the Dutch novel by Jan Terlouw the story takes place in January of 1945 in Nazi-occupied Holland. In the novel the central character Michiel (Martijn Lakemeir) is 16, here he is 14, and is looking for a chance to help the underground resistance movement. His favorite uncle, Ben (yorick van Wageningen) is a member of the resistance and has come to live with Michiel's family. Michiel's father (Raymond Thiry) is the mayor of the German occupied village and his teenaged sister Erica (Melody Klauer) works as a nurse. A neighbor of Michiel asks him to deliver an envelope on behalf of the resistance and soon he is in over his his head in espionage and the war and an effort to help Jack (Jamie Campbell Bower), a downed and injured American pilot hiding out in the forest outside of the village. With noted veteran German actor Dan van Husen as the commander of the village's occupying army. Excellent cinematography from Guido van Gennep and a great looking film thanks to art director Darius Bastys and production designer Floris Vos this is a good film and has made the eight film short list to the 82nd Academy Awards as the Netherlands official submission for Best foreign Language Film. Some of the acting seems a little stiff and the film could use more tension but I would recommend it and give it an 8.5 out of 10. I'm sure this will be playing in American art house theaters in 2010.
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