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If you were to ask your Dutch friends or colleagues to list their favourite Dutch films of all time, then they would no doubt come up with completely different lists. However, last year movie website, IMBd, conducted a small survey from which they compiled the top 5 Dutch films of all time, which are detailed below. So, if you plan to hold a Dutch cinema night in the near future, these films are an absolute must!
1. Zwartboek (2006)
A war film directed by Paul Verhoeven starring Carice van Houten, Thom Hoffman, Halina Reijn and Sebastian Koch, in which a Jewish woman reminisces about her time in the resistance and her survival until the end of the Second World War. Zwartboek was also released in English under the title ‘Black Book’. Click here to watch a Black Book trailer or click here to order a special edition Zwartboek DVD (in the Dutch language).
2. Spoorloos (1988)
Spoorloos is a film adaptation of the book, Het Gouden Ei (The Golden Egg), by Tim Krabbé and tells the story of Rex and Saskia, a Dutch couple on holiday in France. When Saskia stops to buy a drink at a petrol station she completely disappears, leaving Rex on a desperate and seemingly endless search. Spoorloos won the Gouden Kalf award at the Utrecht Film Festival in 1988 and was released in English under the title ‘The Vanishing’ and in French-speaking countries as ‘L’Homme Qui Voulait Savoir’. Click here to watch a trailer of Spoorloos.
3. Simon (2004)
Simon is a feature film by Dutch director Eddy Terstall, about tough drug dealer Simon and shy homosexual Camiel. After enjoying a close friendship that forms in the aftermath of a car accident they eventually lose touch, only to cross paths again some fourteen years later. Simon explores contemporary themes such as euthanasia and sexuality and the liberal attitudes for which the Netherlands is renowned. Simon won four Gouden Kalveren at the Dutch Film Festival and was shown in cinemas as far away as Ecuador. Click here to watch the Simon trailer.
4. Karakter (1997)
This film is based on the 1938 novel by famous Dutch writer, F. Bordewijk and received an Oscar for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at the 1998 Academy Awards, in addition to dozens of other foreign accolades. The film was released in English under the title ‘Character’. Click here to watch the Character trailer.
5. Soldaat van Oranje (1977)
Internationally acclaimed Dutch film, Soldaat van Oranje covers the adventures of resistance fighter Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, who was nicknamed ‘Soldaat van Oranje’ in recognition of his bravery. This film, which is called ‘Soldier of Orange’ in English, provided film director Paul Verhoeven, screenwriter Gerard Soeteman and Dutch actors Rutger Hauer and Jeroen Krabbé with their international break through. Click here to watch the Soldier of Orange trailer.
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?