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BLACK BOOK aka ZWARTBOEK
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
UK: Tartan Films
Cast: Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Thom Hoffman, Halina Reijn, Waldemar Kobus, Derek de Lint, Christian Berkel, Dolf de Vries, Peter Blok, Michiel Huisman, Ronald Armbrust, Frank Lammers, Matthias Schoenaerts, Johnny de Mol, Xander Straat, Diana Dobbelman, Rixt Leddy, Lidewij Mahler, Pieter Tiddens, Gijs Naber, Dirk Zeelenberg, Michiel de Jong, Jobst Schnibbe, Boris Saran, Jack Vecht, Jacqueline Blom, Seth Kamphuijs, Herman Boerman, Skip Goeree, Bert Luppes, Marisa van Eyle, Heleen Mineur, Bas van der Horst, Foeke Kolff, Merel van Houts, Charlotte Rinnooy Kan, Maaike Kempeneers, Janni Goslinga, Wimie Wilhelm, Theo Maassen, Tjebbo Gerritsma, Timothy Deenihan, Nolan Hemmings, Garrick Hagon, Ronald de Bruin, Menno van Beekum, Marcel Mutsers, Hugo Metsers, Rian Gerritsen, Susan Visser, Maiko Kemper, Carsten Sasse, Liza de Weerd, Willem de Wolf, Oded Menashe, Roni Yedid, Tomer Agami, Gabriela Lewis
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Countries: Netherlands / Belgium / UK / Germany
Language: Dutch / German / English / Hebrew (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 145 mins
USA Rated: R for some strong violence, graphic nudity, sexuality and language
UK Certificate: 15 contains very strong language, strong violence and nudity
USA Release Date: 4 April 2007
UK Release Date: 19 January 2007
Rachel Steinn (Carice van Houten), a beautiful, young and feisty Jewish revue star, has fled the Nazis and gone into hiding in the Netherlands, but when her hiding place is destroyed by a stray bomb she meets a sailor who offers her refuge at his parents' house. They are tipped off by resistance fighter Van Gein (Peter Blok) that their hideaway is no longer safe and he offers to smuggle her by boat into safe Allied territory with a group of wealthy Jews. As the boat departs she discovers her family are making the journey too.
Tragedy soon strikes when a Nazi patrol intercepts their boat ruthlessly killing everybody, except Rachel who manages to escape, but not before she has witnessed the brutal murder of her family and the plundering of their valuables by Nazi officer Franken (Waldemar Kobus) and his comrades.
Rachel joins the Resistance and is assigned a new identity as the blonde Ellis de Vries. In no time she uses her seductive charm on the senior German officer Muntze (Sebastian Koch), head of the Sicherheitsdienst, the intelligence arm of the SS. Captivated by her, Muntze escorts Ellis through a series of checkpoints, unaware that he is helping her smuggle surveillance equipment into The Hague. Other members of the Resistance don't have such luck and are captured. One of them is Tim (Ronald Armbrust), the son of resistance leader Kuipers (Derek de Lint).
To find a way to free his son, Kuipers asks Ellis to seduce Muntze. She is welcomed to work in his office by the lively and opportunistic Ronnie (Halina Reijn), who, she is horrified to discover, is the mistress of the coarse and cruel Franken. While listening in to the Germans with a bugging device planted by Ellis in the office of the Sicherheitsdienst, Kuipers' cell discovers that her family and the other fleeing Jews were not murdered by chance, but were led into a trap by none other than Van Gein and Franken.
From this point onwards Ellis becomes increasingly entangled in a deadly web of double-dealing and betrayal...
Twenty years in the making, this stunning, sexy thriller from the internationally acclaimed, blockbuster director Paul Verhoeven (BASIC INSTINCT, STARSHIP TROOPERS, SOLDIER OF ORANGE) is an epic story of great courage and fierce emotion - played out against the dying explosive months of WWII. BLACK BOOK also marks Verhoeven's return to The Netherlands after 23 years and the film was shot on various locations in The Hague, Giethoorn, the Biesbosch, in the Babelberg Studio in Berlin and in Israel. The film was critically well received where it screened at Venice and Toronto.