“ Genre: War & Western - War / Theatrical Release: 2008 / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Martin Koolhoven / Actors: Martijn Lakemeier, Yorick Van Wageningen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Melody Klaver, Anneke Blok ... / DVD released 2010-05-31 at Kaleidoscope Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Colour, PAL, Subtitled „
Winter in Wartime.
Winter in Wartime is focused on Nazi occupied Holland during world war two. The emphasis is on Michiel, played by Martijn Lakemeieran, who is audacious Dutch teenager who has a supreme hatred for the Germans and goes against all the rules in order to aid an allied pilot called Jack played by Jamie Campbell Bower. Michiels life changes very little with the occupation, his father is a predominant figure in the community and manages to keeps things as "normal" as possible. However with Jacks arrival and Oom Ben, played by Yorick van Wageningen, his uncle who is supposedly part of the resistance, Michiel discovers the true malevolence of war and also what men are made off. Both the good and the bad become clear to Michiel who is forced to make so truly difficult decisions and deal with horrendous situations that very few people have to even consider in this day and age.
The majority of the film is in Dutch with English subtitles, however there is a small amount of English spoken. This in no way diminishes the quality of the film. I enjoyed this film emensely and have watched it several times. The story really helps you to realise that you truly could trust no body. That what you see isn't always what is true.
The story focuses on many different relationships that Michiel has and how they develop and change throughout the film Michiel has many important decisions to make and throughout you see how Michiel copes with the decisions and attitutes that he takes. You see him gain in strength and determination against the most terrible odds in order to help one allied airman, when there were so many easier and less dangerous options available to him. In fact you see him grow up very quickly.
This is a truly insightful film with a great cast. The story although is based in wartime seems to be centred more on Michiel than on war per say. It is Michiels emotional journey throughout the film that is the emphasis, rather than it being about war. Although Michiels courage is bought about because of war and the situations caused by war, this film is much more about one boy's determination against the odds. It's a film of inspiration and bravery above anything else. The director Martin Koolhoven has achieved a wonderful film showing the characters true fortitude.
The ambience of the film is almost cloudy adding to the intrigue and furtiveness. Making you feel that you need to be quiet for fear of being discovered.
The film is classified fifteen which seems acceptable due to the nature of the film. We are all aware of the Nazi regime in occupied countries during world war two and as much as children need to be educated in regard to this issue, age appropriate education is best.
I bought this film some time ago from amazon but I cannot recall the price. However I have seen it on amazon recently for £3.00 including free delivery which is a great price. Definitely worth watching and please don't be put off by the subtitles, in my opinion you won't be disappointed.