Documentary about the leader of the fascist party in The Netherlands, from 1931 till 1945. This architect called Anton Mussert was shot in 1946 after having been convicted for high treason ...
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Based on the true story of a group of students from Leiden, the Netherlands, their experience, different paths and roles in World War II, either as a collaborators or in the resistance. ... See full summary »
Documentary about the leader of the fascist party in The Netherlands, from 1931 till 1945. This architect called Anton Mussert was shot in 1946 after having been convicted for high treason and aiding the enemy.Written by
Chris Abbenhuis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film was already made in 1968, but broadcast was delayed for two years. At the time, the only documentary about the controversial Dutch war collaborator Anton Mussert consisted of archive material, and could only be shown in academic circles. Since it merely highlighted Mussert's demonic nature, Paul Verhoeven was determined to make a documentary that would also portray the human side of the NSB frontman. The VPRO network agreed, and Verhoeven conducted interviews with contemporaries of Mussert, including NSB members such as E.J. Roskam and Florrie Rost van Tonningen. However, because of the sensitive nature of the subject, the first showing on television was canceled at the eleventh hour at the recommendation of historian Loe De Jong. Two years later, the director of the VPRO (who had not been involved in the cancellation) suggested some changes to Verhoeven to make the film more acceptable for the public. Some footage of concentration camps and a narration were added, and the film was finally shown on Dutch television in 1970. See more »
The narrator claims that Heinrich Himmler saw the Netherlands as a Province of Germany. Unlike in the Netherlands, Germany didn't have "provinces" as administrative divisions. See more »
Paul Verhoeven did something most of the important post-war dutch writers (Jan Wolkers, Harry Mulisch, Maarten 't Hart, Simon Vestdijk and more) in the Netherlands did: adjusting greytones to the general opinion which was written in the memories of the people in black and white. The general opinion in those days (1968)ridiculized Mussert, the man who stood on the wrong side during the war. Mussert being a brilliant engineer, made many improvements to the dutch infrastructure (Valleikanaal, improving the water-household in the central part of the Netherlands and more). Actually, when Mussert would not have made the decision of going into politics, the Netherlands, at least in the central part, would have looked totally different. The film itself is one of oral history, one of the most important resources of truth. It shows Paul Verhoeven in one of his outstanding qualities: being an honest man looking for the truth.
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