Friday, June 1, 2007

Black Book (Netherlands)

(Verhoeven) MUST-SEE: You must see this movie. But, view knowing you will read subtitles. The film is a story of Rachel (van Houten), a young Jewish cabaret star in hiding during WWII. After she witnesses the slaughtering of her family and many other Jews during an escape journey, she goes into hiding in a different way: in plain sight. She joins up with a rebel crew of men and women out to take down the gestapo. She dies her hair (all of it... I mean, ALL of it) and cozies up to the head honcho himself for a chance to spy on the army and avenge her family's killing. The film beautifully depicts Rachel's life of struggle, heartache, and fear, it tells a sad story honestly and graphically. It hits hard deep in your stomach, revealing some of the reality the Dutch lived through during the war. The story was diverse as well, going from whodunit to love story to war movie. It has an appropriate nostalgic feel throughout, capturing an old-world ethic of people and scenery. The coloring is vibrant, the music a perfect fit, and the rouge is as red as ever. I think this movie is exceedingly deserving of its acclaim (including the Venice Film Festival win) and should be viewed. I will say I was deeply saddened, even after the credits, by this film. It hits hard and suggests how ignorant we may be over here to the pain that once existed.

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