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The Black Book, Not That Kind

Reviewing: Paul Verhoeven The Black Book  |  Rating:
alice By alice on
Badge: Advisor | Level: 25 | Movies & Documentaries Expertise:
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This movie is a thriller about Holland and the Dutch resistance, about the horrors of WWII and the fight against the Nazis' killing of the Jews. It's not a movie for children. There is some graphic nudity. The movie is sub-titled in English as Dutch and German are the main languages spoken. I can understand Dutch so I was riveted to listening and hearing familiar words spoken without needing to read a majority of the subtitles.

I had never heard of this movie until my brother purchased a copy for me from Blockbuster. The Black Book made it's debut at the Venice film festival in September, 2006 and then released worldwide.

The main character is a young Jewish singer named Rachel who is hiding from the Nazis toward the end of the war. She is warned by the resistance that the Germans know about her so she goes to a lawyer, a friend of the family, who arranges for Rachel and her family to be smuggled to safety. This lawyer has arranged for many of the Jews in Holland to escape, along with keeping their money for safekeeping. He keeps a list of all this in a small "black book".

As Rachel and her family are about to make their way to safety they are ambushed by the Germans who have somehow found out about their planned escape. Rachel escapes the ambush but watches as the Germans kill everyone, including her family. This leads to her joining the Dutch resistance and working undercover within the Nazi regime.

So begins the gut retching twists and turns of this movie based on real people and events that occurred in Holland during WWII. It kept me on the edge of my seat so to speak, sometimes laughing, at times closing my eyes and shaking my head, but always anxious to find out what would happen next. I knew not all Dutch people who seemed to be good, would be, or that all Nazis or Germans were bad.

I had learned that from my Dad who worked in the Dutch resistance, who was turned in by a so called friend to the Germans, ambushed and captured at the very end of WWII. It was only the end of the war that saved my Dad from being shot to death by the Germans. My Dad never talked about the war until just shortly before his death and then only to one of his grandchildren who asked if they could interview him for a class at school. We have that interview on tape and it is so much like some of the events in this movie, it give me goose bumps.