Monday, 6 February 2017


a film by Paul Verhoeven

Raving reviews notwithstanding, I didn’t watch Black Book when it was first screened in England. All these (ten) years, it remained on my “to watch” list — in other words, every time I saw it in the library, I’d always find some excuse not to borrow it. A few days ago, they were showing it on Spanish TV, and I sat down and watched it from start to finish, without ever falling asleep.

Not exactly my first choice to watch after The Big Bang Theory, but man, what a film. Not only has it got everything the good war movie should have (and I don’t even like war movies that much), it’s got it all perfect: tight plot, attention to detail, life, death, sex, love, betrayal, a sympathetic Hauptsturmführer, a traitorous Resistance member, subdued colours, rather overdramatic 1950s-style music, plus some very 21st-century acting, and not only by Carice van Houten. By the end of the movie, I thought my Dutch and German have improved to the level I didn’t need Spanish subtitles any longer, until I realised they switched to English for a while.

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