“The Black Book” is a Dutch movie about the Resistance during WWII. It was directed with his usual flair for sex and violence by Paul Verhoeven. It is indisputably the greatest war movie to come out of Holland. It was released in 2006 and is well-respected among critics and audiences. It does have its haters, however.
|Ellis and Muntze and his stamps|
When I finished watching this movie my first reaction was negative. The magical chocolate bar and the firing squad death of one of the main characters strained credulity beyond my tolerance. While the insulin scene is just your typical movie escape from death against logical odds, the execution of a German officer by German firing squad after the German surrender seemed at first glance to be absolutely ridiculous and inexcusable! I was not the only one who protested this historical inaccuracy, but a little research found a germ of truth in it. It seems the Canadians did allow the Germans to execute two deserters after their jurisdiction should have ceased. However, the movie character is not a simple deserter, but instead a German officer who undoubtedly would have been kept alive for interrogation value alone.
|Ellis and Kuipers waiting for the villain to die|
This is also the kind of movie that when you look back at it, you see numerous big holes in the plot. You realize what amazing coincidences had to happen to advance the story. Also, to fool you as to who the real traitor is, he or she does things that are not consistent with the character.
With all that said, I recommend you read this movie. Enjoy it for its entertainment, not its historical accuracy. If nothing else, it will keep you thinking about its flaws for days after. Few movies have that kind of impact for good or ill. Oh, and did I mention that van Houten is hot and often unclothed?
GRADE = B-