Monday, May 21, 2007

Film Review: Black Book

I don't see many movies these days ... mostly because I think that Hollywood is turning out stuff that really doesn't interest me ... the best current example of that being that comic book thing that broke all the attendance records, over the past weekend.

However, this afternoon, I saw a film that - at least, for me - was as powerful as anything I've seen in recent years:

BLACK BOOK is a 2006-released World War II story (and, yes, I'm one of those Europe-raised people who believes that that war was the most important and most far-reaching event within our lifetime). It's a Dutch film, but the production credits also contain many German names.

It's a seemingly fact-based story of the Dutch underground, and specifically an (now) Israeli woman who played a powerful role in the fight against the Nazi occupation of Holland. It's also the story of German occupiers - one of whom - a high-ranking SS fellow - falls in love with this Jewish gal. Ditto, she in him.

It is also a story of trickery and betrayal - both within the underground fighters, as well as the German occupiers. And this film also brings up the vulgarity and drunken misbehavior of the the victorious British post-war occupation forces.

Yes, yes ... I know ... you're probably snickering over my interest in - and devotion to - books and films dealing with that period of sixty years ago. Well, go ahead and snicker. Pretty soon those of us who lived through those awsome times will be pffft, either in the form of ashes, thrown into the wind ... or rotting and stinking in some outrageously expensive cemetery hole.

Incidentally, if the subject - as outlined by me - of BLACK BOOK, doesn't greatly interest you, behaps I can entice you by mentioning that this Dutch film has some very, very vivid sexual coupling scenes, frontal nudity and all ... Thank God for the Dutch !. On the other hand, also be prepared for some awful Nazi torture scenes. Furthermore, the ending - though powerful - is anything but satisfying .... but, then, c'est la vie.

Hope I can get you to see this film ... but if you're a reasonably sensitive person, be prepared to leave the theater in tears - just as I did. But also, you'll find that the experience will scour and cleanse your soul.

Gary S Franklin