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Winter in Wartime 2008 war movie

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War Movies

Holland in World War 2 was countries with rather complicated situation - during German occupation people were showing different approaches to the new reality, which lead to personal dramas. There were those, who sympathized with Allies and were helping the resistance, there were those, who supported the Nazi ideas and were actively helping the occupant and there were those, who were ready to compromise their own views and simply survive the horror. In such reality nothing is simple and nothing is obvious - your neighbour can be secret informant for Nazis or Allied agent.


Teenager Michiel van Beusekom and his best friend Dirk Knopper have found a crashed British de Havilland Mosquito plane, but before they could have take a good look at the remains they were spotted by the Germans and had to flee. Dirk managed to escape from pursuit, but Michiel did not have that much luck and was caught by the soldiers. His father, Johan van Beusekom, is mayor of the town, so Germans just let him go with the warning, but the relationships between father and son are complicated. Johan is one of those people, who would prefer to just survive the war without taking any side, rather than helping Allies. Michiel despises him for it, even though his father’s connections with Germans saved him from being sent to concentration camp or from being shot. Nevertheless Michiel is convinced that his choice of helping the local resistance, even if that worries his father, is the right choice.

Soon he will have to take some serious responsibility on his young shoulders - he will have to make decision either to help British pilot and thus put his family in risk or let him die and keep the family safe. In reality, in which at any moment Nazis can kill anyone on the spot it is not an easy thing to do - take responsibility for someone else’s life.

Even though Winter in Wartime (Oorlogswinter) was originally a novel for teenagers, just like for example War Horse, this production managed to avoid all the typical mistakes - like over-sentimental dialogues or one-dimensional characters. Winter in Wartime is actually a decent war time drama that shows how difficult the time was to be a teenager - something that next generations should not ever experience themselves.


Notes

  • Based on novel for teenagers by Jan Terlouw, who based the atmosphere on his own experience from World War 2 - he was 8 years old in 1945.



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