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Black Book (2006)

Zwartboek (original title)
R | | Drama, Thriller, War | 18 May 2007 (USA)
In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 13 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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...
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Dolf de Vries ...
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Van Gein
...
Rob
Ronald Armbrust ...
Tim Kuipers
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Kees
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Joop
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Theo
Xander Straat ...
Maarten
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Storyline

Israel 1956. Rachel, a Jew, rather unexpectedly meets an old friend at the kibbutz where she is working as a teacher. It brings back memories of her experiences in The Netherlands during the war, memories of betrayal. September 1944. Rachel is in trouble when her hiding place is bombed by allied troops. She gets in contact with a man from the resistance and joins a group of Jews who are to be smuggled across the Biesbosch by boat to the freed South Netherlands. Germans from a patrol boat murder them all however. Only Rachel is able to escape. She is rescued by a resistance group under the leadership of Gerben Kuipers. When Kuipers' son is captured after trying to smuggle weapons, he asks Rachel to seduce SS-hauptsturmführer Ludwig Müntze. Soon she will find out the attack in the Biesbosch wasn't a coincidence. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To fight the enemy, she must become one of them.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence, graphic nudity, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

18 May 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Book  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€682,184 (Netherlands), 17 September 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$112,521, 8 April 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,398,392, 19 August 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most actors speak more than one language in the film. Carice van Houten speaks four languages fluently in the course of the film: Hebrew in the scenes in Israel, German with Nazi soldiers, English with Canadian army personnel, and Dutch for the majority of the film. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Rachel/Ellis is given insulin, the power socket behind her has a cable plugged in which disappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

Gerben Kuipers: [pointing to Tim's dead body] Do you know who this is?
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: [nods]
Gerben Kuipers: What do you have to say for yourself?
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: This.
[holds up the black book - which has the list of victims and offenders during the war]
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: This says everything.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Spion van Oranje (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Haoto Shelanu
Lyrics: Fania Bergstein
Composer: Traditional
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Impressive and heuristic
14 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

It took me about an hour after having seen the film to find any enthusiasm to write this review. The film Black Book, or Zwartboek in Dutch, is very impressive, with an excellent feeling for the complexity of inter-human relationships.

The story is about a Jewish girl that finds herself in a powerless situation in a war that tends to bring out the worst in all, 'good' or 'bad'. So much for what we know without seeing the film for ourselves. The film starts out rather typical, informing us with what we already new about the war: people where poor, hungry and trying to survive. However, the second part of the film shows a less well known part of Dutch resistance history: that the war brings out the worst in everybody. Without losing sight of the importance of the resistance against the foreign repression, Paul Verhoeven confuses his audience by visualizing how ones own well-being seems to go at the cost of the well-being of another. No black and white, no bad or good, but only the individual choice, that is tormented by the will to survive and a feeling for morality.

The film is daring for showing the dark side of the Dutch national history. However, the most valuable of the film is that it captivates its audience and sensitizes its audience for the misery of the historical event of World War II, but also the contemporary difficulties that affects human beings rather than countries. A must see, even though it makes you feel miserable.


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