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Black Book

Zwartboek (Black Book)

Excellent WWII flick about a Jewish girl living in Holland who gets her hiding place bombed and is forced to find an alternate plan of survival after the Nazi's find her ID inside the bombed building and go looking for her.

She ends up trying to escape with her family by boat to South Netherlands, but is ambushed by the SS. Although she manages to escape, everyone else on the boat is blown away & has their corpse plundered.

Then she is found by a member of the Dutch resistance, who gives her a job & a place to stay. After watching her family get murdered, she is only too happy to work under-cover in a Mata Hari-esque style, infiltrating the local Nazi headquarters.

When the son of the Dutch Resistance leader is captured, she dyes her hair blond - including the hair on her snitzel - so that she can then seduce a Nazi officer. Planting bugs in the office & performing death-defying stunts interspersed with lots of sex.

Did I mention there was lots of sex in this movie too? Nude, naked men with their dangly parts showing! This would've been a lot more appealing had the nude, naked guy been attractive but he had more of the look of one of our fellow, hairy, nude, naked, bowling-ball shaped SubG at Wisteria.

There are a lot of twists and turns in this movie. Lots of betrayal and subterfuge, even within the ranks of the SS. It was a real nail-biter, showing the limitless depths of human depravity which, in any other setting might have seemed a bit fantastic. However, considering it's setting of a time & place where human beings were being mercilessly exterminated just by virtue of their ethnicity, it was very believable that there would be subplots of exploitation for money & personal gain.

I thought they did a tremendous job of personalizing the behind-the-scenes part of history which is rarely, if ever considered when you think of WWII.

The one part that was difficult for me - although I thought it was good - was the relationship between the girl & the Nazi officer. She fell in love with him and in the end, saved his life (fleeting as it was because he met his fate after the war and was executed by his own countrymen).

The man was responsible for ordering the executions of her people and members of the resistance. Although he wasn't a war profiteer, he was still basically scum…but he was really HOT scum, still that was a little difficult for me to reconcile with.

He was ultimately executed for high treason, negotiating with terrorists (the resistance), so in the end, he was a little more of a human being than the typical "Befehl ist befehl pleading Nazi, and I guess it was to illustrate the point that when desperate times call for desperate measures, human emotions can still fuck you up and you can still lose your head over the wrong guy. I'd say a Jew falling in love with a Nazi officer during WWII has gotta be the epitome of a bad choice in mates and makes me feel a little better about some of the choices I've made…."Say what you will, at least he wasn't a Nazi" is my new comfort phrase.

Another thing I thought was fascinating was the multi-linguistic talents of the female protagonist, who spoke a good four languages as if they were all her native tongue.

– Review by Miss Binky