Pssst, want to check out Zwartboek in our new look?
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Hollywood blockbusters haven't had much nudity since... well since Paul Verhoeven left Hollywood.
Though Paul Verhoeven's violent action flicks in the 80s are still classics, the director eventually sank into sex'n'violence exploitation, some of it successful (Basic Instinct), some of it not (Showgirls, Starship Troopers). But his star had faded and he's helmed few films since the late 90s. 2006's Black Book does have a lot of violence and nudity, but it's much better than I would have expected. It tells the story of Jewish woman who infiltrates Gestapo HQ for the Dutch resistance in the final days of WWII, and though not a true story, has that bent, as it has an unpredictability that creates its tension (though the last act does have a couple of crazy questionable moments). Carice van Houten in the lead role is impossibly beautiful and quite affecting, and it's really not the kind of war narrative we're used to seeing (though the theme and message are necessarily the same). Apparently Verhoeven had been working on the screenplay for 30 years, so this is a very personal picture, and I think that's why it's more sensitive than anything else I've ever seen from him.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #1 in Dutch Film Top 50
This movie ranks #26 in Nederlands Film Festival - Gouden Kalf
This movie ranks #100 in 101 War Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #294 in The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #1059 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Films