In 1888 Amsterdam, a stubborn violin maker and his pharmacist cousin face hardship and tragedy as they oppose the powerful businessmen who plan to force him from his house and erect a luxurious new hotel in its place.
The film tells the love story between Hans (Barry Atsma) and Margje (Noortje Herlaar) - sweethearts since school. Hans grows up in a strict religious environment, with a brutal father. He ... See full summary »
In the impoverished southern Dutch province of Limburg, the bond between a former mine worker and his only son is put to the test as the latter takes it upon himself to pay his father's debts to a local gangster.
Remy van Heugten
Ali Ben Horsting,
The story about Riphagen, a cunning Dutch traitor during WW2 who helped Nazi round up Jews, stealing their treasures for himself. He destroyed Resistance groups, making many who pursued justice after the war look like fools.
Jeroen van Koningsbrugge,
While she fights a heroic battle against the Spanish besieger with her female army, Kenau, driven by hate and sorrow of the execution of her youngest daughter, is threatened to also lose ... See full summary »
When the young republic of The Netherlands is attacked by England, France and Germany and the country itself is on the brink of civil war, only one man can lead the country's strongest weapon, the Dutch fleet: Michiel de Ruyter.
1888: a luthier, Vedder (Gijs Scholten van Aschat), has to step aside when his home, opposite the recently completed Central Station in Amsterdam, must yield for the planned Victoria Hotel. His cousin Anijs (Jacob Derwig), pharmacist in the Northern provinces of the Netherlands, has gotten into a fix after illegal medical practices, and is looking for a way out. For himself and his wife Martha (Rifka Lodeizen), but also for a colony of poor peat cutters whom he promises a future in the United States. Committed - or is it pride? - the two of them think up a scheme from which they all will fully benefit. With tragic consequences. Written by
Despite an expensive production, the narrative is unconvincing. "Value of location" is one of the main topics of the film. Nonetheless, the film does not give the viewer a sense of place.
The choice and ordering of scenes undermine any tension to be build up. The different story lines do not support, but destroy each other. Important changes in the plot are not properly introduced or visually translated. As a result the gradual emotional breakdown of the violin maker, one of the main characters, is not convincing. The end scene of the doctor, the other main character, is so ridiculous and pathetic that it melts down the entire Hoogeveen storyline. Vital themes such as social injustice, or the arrival of modernity are treated as interchangeable backdrop. A relevant storyline is lacking.
By result the causality of the narrative breaks down and all events become arbitrary.
Pretty frustrating, as Rosenboom's success novel must have had all layers in place. A film can never be as rich as a novel, but a film must present those strings that contain the story. That is unfortunately not the case here.
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