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Winter in Wartime [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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This is a dramatization of a CHILDREN'S novel. A very well-known and well-loved Dutch children's novel in fact, based on the author's (Jan Terlouw) own childhood experiences during the devastating final "Winter of Hunger" (before the Northern part of The Netherlands was finally liberated in May 1945). But still, a children's novel, and therefor aimed at an audience of about 9-15 year-olds. In The Netherlands, this film was released as such, as a film for children/young teens. Hence the "lack" of gory action scenes or realisticly savage brutality by the hands of the occupiers that some viewers have mentioned in their comments. It was never intended for adult audiences. Maybe this knowledge will set this film in a different light for non-Dutch viewers.
I hope it does, because I loved it, as I loved the book when I was a child growing up in The Netherlands. But keep in mind, this is a story told from the perspective of a child, written for children. Don't let that fact deter you in any way though, you'll miss a little gem of a film!
The story concerns a fresh faced 14 year old boy Michiel, who harbours aspirations to join the local resistance movement. The life expectancy in this movement is about the same as a first world war pilot, judging from the rate they are bumped off early on! Not something that seems to put our young would be hero off! Michiel resents his father the town mayor who appears to pander to the local Nazi's for the sake of an easier life, but he worships his Uncle Ben who has contact with the resistance. When he discovers a downed English pilot, Michiel enters into a very dangerous game. The penalty for such help being a lonely wall and the firing squad. All is not as it seems for a young boy forced to grow up fast under the harsh realities of war.
The film is something of a Dutch boys own adventure, with the theme of lost innocence at its heart. There were many children in Europe during WW2 who were sadly robbed of their innocence, so this is certainly a sincere theme. The film also realistically portrays that feeling of dread that those working in the resistance had to live with. That awful knock on the door in the middle of the night that could lead to torture and exection. We are also made painfully aware of the wartime shortages and the temptation for some to turn informer.Read more ›
Although the genre of war may put some people off of watching Winter in Wartime, it must really be stressed that this film is about much more than war. It is a story of unimaginable situations, immeasurable courage and unfathomable predicaments that the characters find themselves in and as a viewer you are completely compelled to find out what will happen to these normal individuals that find themselves in abnormal circumstances.
A beautiful film, a touching story and definitely worth seeing. It is a film that will make you compare all other war films to it!
(And it should have received the Oscar nomination it was short-listed for!!)
"Winter in Wartime" offers a taut narrative, great performances from an accomplished team of mostly Dutch actors, chillingly beautiful cinematography and an entirely convincing drama. The musical score was somewhat heavy-handed and as with some other movies merely underlined moments of high emotion when the acting and photography were perfectly adequate in themselves. That quibble apart, "Winter in Wartime" is a fine film and I recommend it strongly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent item as described. Prompt dispatch, safe and sound. Top marks.Published 10 days ago by P. F. Tracgransglaws
A gripping film. Right throughout I was tensed up waiting to see what would happen next..Published 20 days ago by Patrick Howard
Enjoyed this film good acting didn't know who was German spy f there was one could watch this again which I don't always doPublished 4 months ago by Gina Wallace