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(Review originally written at 31 March 2008)

The movie is being regarded as the first major Dutch film production after WW II. It's from the same makers who made the journals that were always shown in cinema's, before the age of television, which can be seen in the style of the movie but this doesn't prevent this movie from having a good solid suiting look and actual the movie is a quit surprising well directed one, by Anton Koolhaas, who is still best known for his writing for the Oscar winning and nominated documentaries of Bert Haanstra.

Beside the directing, also the acting really surprised in this movie. While some of the actors are obvious non-actors and probably just locals, the main parts are being played by some fine actors who give away a great performance.

The story is very simple but this is perhaps also the movie its greatest power. Because of its simplicity the movie feels real and non-forced and also really good to watch. It's a drama in which the main character plays the central role. The movie gets mostly driven around him and his past and struggles. He's a quite depressed character but yet it doesn't make this just a depressing movie to watch as well. Because of the movie its honesty and simplicity the movie remains a very easy one to watch and never gets too heavy with any of its emotions.

The movie also of course benefits from the fact that it was made in 1950, so the locations and entire atmosphere of the movie were still quite similar to that of 1944, the time period the movie is set in.

It's a very cheaply made movie and this also shows on screen. So even though the movie is set during WW II, you obviously shouldn't expect any gun fights or explosions. The action within this movie is quite amateurish looking actually and very cheap but that of course has now days also become part of the movie its charm.

A surprising good humble little film.

7/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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