Jun 20, 2010

Black Book, 2006

Black Book, 2006¸
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Halina Reijn

Stage: Home theatre

Black Book in short: Israel 1956. Set during the end of WWII, Black Book is the story of a Dutch Jewish girl who narrowly survives the war in Holland. She joins the resistance to find out who betrayed her family after all of them were killed in an attempt to reach the liberated south.

Preps: none in perticular. Found this piece and didn't have a clue about it. What it was about, who are the protagonists, nothing. So I decide on a rainy day to see it. Paul Verhoeven gives me moral satisfaction at the beginning, I adore his work.

Reality: Who is really making a war happen? And who is influenced by it? The whole world is involved everytime. You cannot just shut your eyes and think it will dissappear. So many people die in vain and so many unjustified crimes occur while little men are walking around with their pistols making the barriers move or making the governmental new territory official.

This piece strikes in the very heart of jewish escapes, this time in Holland and this time the way you have never seen it before. The story is more than believable (and yet in this sense, a bit used), the cast remarkable. Ellis is the sinonym or let's say, a metaphore for all unjustice in the world done to the jews at that point. From extortion, to betrayal, from unjustice, to coldbloded torture. Imagine having the person that killed your family, touching your breasts and trying to eat it up, because you know you will get your revenge later and at this point you have to gain this person's trust. Imagine sleeping with a german officer and falling for him, although everything in your mind and body tells you not to. and after the end of the war, having your citizen spitting on you and calling you a whore, but all you did was work in the resistence during the war.

The Black Book has it all, drama, romance, despair, hope and death. Verhoeven made one of his better pieces with this one. War really shows on the nation and predators are still present when it ends. Nice people turning into beasts, killing your own ego and belief to do the right thing, surviving when it's impossible, taking coincidence into your hands.. I am deeply moved and impressed by this one. Deep recommendation! However, not for softies :)

One of the things to think about:

Gerben Kuipers: Ellis, a girl didn't show up today. Would you replace her?
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: Work is work, right?
Gerben Kuipers: Even if it is dangerous?
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: What have I got to lose?
Gerben Kuipers: Your life...

My personal rate: 8,0 (not really schindler's list, however you will get touched by it, and see there were also "reasonable" germans, if you can call them this way.)

Black book on IMDB
Black Book Official Site

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