Saturday, March 31, 2007

Black Book

I can’t wait to see this movie. I’m a sucker for intrigue and spy movies. I’ve always loved the Hitchcockian average man put in extreme situations theme.

Black Book (Zwartboek) appears to be a return to traditional movies by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven. After RoboCop, Basic Instinct and Showgirls, this story appears meaty, beautiful and thrilling.

It will show as part of the Magnolia at the Modern series in Fort Worth in May, and Filmies plans a group outing. So be watching.

The film stars Carice Van Houten and Sebastian Koch, whom we loved in The Lives of Others.

Here’s the synopsis from the press kit:

Holland 1944 – The final years of the Second World War find the beautiful singer Rachel Stein (Carice Van Houten) taking refuge with the Tsjempkema family in rural Holland. Once a popular and wealthy singer, Rachel has been waiting out the war like many Jews in Europe, separated from her family and a moment away from being caught by the Gestapo. Her temporary safe-house is destroyed by an Allied bomber under fire by a German fighter and Rachel is left in the arms of Rob (Michel Huisman), a sympathetic young boy, who promises to help her to safety. The next morning, Rob takes Rachel to her contact in town, who she hopes will help her find her family and escape across into liberated territory.
They arrive at the home of Mr. Smaal (Dolf de Vries) and his wife (Diana Dobbleman), a compassionate lawyer who has worked secretly to help Jews escape from Holland. Reluctantly, Mr. Smaal arranges for Rachel to join her family and cross enemy lines into Allied territory, marking her name and rendez-vous point in a little black leather notebook.
But during the dangerous crossing, the boat is ambushed by German troops. The Nazi’s ruthlessly kill the boats’ passengers and Rachel only narrowly escapes by jumping overboard into the river.
The next morning, Rachel is rescued by Gerben Kuipers, one of the leaders of the Dutch resistance. A kind and generous man, Kuipers offers Rachel a job and a safe place to stay. But embittered by the memory of the ruthless murder of her family, Rachel decides to become a resistance fighter to seek revenge against the Germans.