6.9/10
1,933
5 user 7 critic
During WWII, a member of the Jewish Council of Amsterdam finds a way to spare children from deportation to the death camps.

Writers:

Chris W. Mitchell (scenario), Rudolf van den Berg (scenario)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeroen Spitzenberger ... Walter Süskind
Karl Markovics ... Ferdinand Aus der Fünten
Nyncke Beekhuyzen ... Hanna Süskind
Katja Herbers ... Fanny Philips
Golda de Leon Golda de Leon ... Yvonne Suskind
Nasrdin Dchar Nasrdin Dchar ... Felix Halverstadt
Tygo Gernandt ... Piet Meerburg
Krijn ter Braak Krijn ter Braak ... Dr. Edwin Schützer
Olga Zuiderhoek Olga Zuiderhoek ... Henriette Pimentel
Chava Voor in 't Holt Chava Voor in 't Holt ... Sylvie
Ramsey Nasr Ramsey Nasr ... Mendel Blumgarten
Theo Pont Theo Pont ... Officer Van Zeijtveld
Erich Krieg Erich Krieg ... Willy Lages
Peter Post ... Albert Gemmeker
George Remmes George Remmes ... Adjutant Bauer
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Storyline

During WWII, a member of the Jewish Council of Amsterdam finds a way to spare children from deportation to the death camps.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Netherlands

Language:

Dutch | German

Release Date:

19 January 2012 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Зюскинд See more »

Filming Locations:

Belgium See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

€259,620 (Netherlands), 22 January 2012, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is based on the true story of Walter Süskind (1906 -1945), a German Jew who helped about 600 Jewish children escape the Holocaust. He worked with Henriette Henriques Pimentel, Felix Halverstad and Johan van Huls, to gather children who were not registered and smuggle them out of Amsterdam. Around 600 children were saved. In 1944, Süskind, his wife and his daughter were sent to the Westerbork transit camp. All three perished, the wife and daughter in a concentration camp, Suskind himself on a death march. See more »

Goofs

When Süskind looks up his family in the register, his own birth date is correct but his wife Johanna's is listed as 11-1-1906 (January 11). Her actual birth date was 1-11-1906 (November 1). See more »


Soundtracks

String Quartet nr. 12, part 2
Written by Antonín Dvorák (as A. Dvorak)
Arranged by Bob Zimmerman
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User Reviews

 
Miracles and redemption
12 May 2012 | by LaakbaarSee all my reviews

This is a pretty good movie. The director knows how to tell a good story and there were several times when my heart leapt into my throat. The film had character development, nuance and depth. This movie also helped me to understand much better what happened at the Hollandse Schouwburg. I hope Dutch directors continue to make movies to tell the story of what happened in the Netherlands during the Second World War, because it wasn't all Anne Frank.

The theme of the Holocaust, complete with cattle cars, has been rendered many times on film. It is a familiar story to most moviegoers. Also, over the years Dutch directors have made several important films that help a Dutch movie-going audience to remember and mythologise what happened.

In this version of the theme, we're shown what happened in Amsterdam. The story focuses on David Suskind, a German-Jewish refugee cum businessman who found himself in the position of having to organise the transport of Amsterdam's Jews to Westerbork and then on to their fate in the camps.

The imprisonment and deportation of all these civilians was a horrific event, difficult to show on film and painful to watch. These activities could only take place if the victims weren't aware of what was going to happen to them. We're shown the minutiae of this operation and what happened when suspicions started arising. The horror of the extreme moral dilemmas involved are brought to life for the viewer.

I felt this movie was too sympathetic. Please don't take this the wrong way, but saving 600 children (as wonderful and miraculous as that was) didn't make up for the systematic destruction of almost all of Amsterdam's jewry, a deeply rooted community that was in some ways the soul of Amsterdam. There is no redemption here. For anyone. Anne Frank, Suskind -- these stories do not represent what actually happened.

I suppose that's the problem with Holocaust movies -- the moviegoer prefers some redemption at the end, some indication that there is a moral universe (even if that's not the case). I think the end might have been stronger by telling us more about the children who survived.

For reasons I don't quite understand, many Dutch movies lapse into sappiness and melodrama. This one included. I suppose it was inevitable given the theme. I'm thinking in particular of the scene at the tracks.

Perhaps someone will think of making a movie recreating pre-war Jewish life in Amsterdam? Amsterdam is a fascinating city and this is something I don't think I've ever seen on film.


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