Dutch Liberation Day Film Tips!

The Netherlands has a unique way of commemorating the Second World War. There are two important days for this particular tribute. We have some film tips for you which will give you a brief history lessons in the liberation of The Netherlands and Europe.

Remembrance Day on May 4 and Liberation Day on May 5. Remembrance Day began as a Memorial Day specifically for those killed in World War II, but since 1961 it has also included victims of other military conflicts and peacekeeping missions. There is a two-minute silence at 8pm on May 4 every year. Liberation Day takes place the day after Remembrance Day, celebrating the freedom of the Netherlands from Nazi occupation after World War II.

Zwartboek / Black Book (2006)

This Dutch film launched the international career of Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones) and is direct by Dutchie Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct, Showgirls for example). She plays a Jewish girl, who after losing her family, goes into the resistance. When an operation to free some of their resistance group, goes horribly wrong, she gets accused as a spy for the Nazi’s. But is she the spy?
Watch the trailer here!

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

This Steven Spielberg directed film gave a new impulse to the genre. The opening scene of the landing on the D-Day beaches is still one of the most impressive one’s ever made. Were WWII-films before more focused on the heroic status of the allied troops, this film gives you the gruesome circumstances of warfare, although the story is still a bit Hollywood style heroism. Shot in green/grey colors it tries to give you the look and feel of color documentaries from that period.
D-day started of the further liberation of Europe, and if you want to see more on that, also check out the series Band of Brothers Spielberg made with Tom Hanks, which follows a platoon paratroopers from the start of their training, throughout the liberation of Europe. With commentary by the real soldiers.

Trailer Saving Private Ryan and trailer Band of Brothers.
Watch it on Netflix.

A Bridge too Far (1977)

Although even older than most of our team, still the best film made on operation Market Garden which was supposed to liberate The Netherlands in one stroke from the Nazi occupation. They tried to free the country via the rivers over land (Garden) and via the air with Paratroopers and bombers (Market) and wanted to push through to German Ruhrgebiet area and maybe Berlin. Unfortunately, the bridge at Arnhem was a bridge too far. Watch a full cast of stars from that time like Anthony Hopkins, Gene Hackman and Sean Connery.
Watch the trailer here.  

Der Untergang/ Downfall (2004)

This German made film depicts the final 10 days of Adolf Hitler in his bunker. Actor Bruno Ganz plays him so believable, that you get the feeling everything happened exactly as seen. You will see the downfall of Nazi regime as the allied troops come to enclose the city of Berlin.
Watch the trailer here. Film can be seen on Netflix!

Son of Saul (2016)

While the allied troops close in on Berlin, the world becomes aware of the gruesome things that took place in the concentration camps in Germany and Poland. Although there are many films we could mention here (like Schindler’s List, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas or La Vita e Bella), we want to mention this Hungarian film, that won the Oscar for best foreign film. It takes place in October 1994 at camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Saul (Géza Röhrig) is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners forced to assist the Nazis. While working, Saul discovers the body of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkommando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child's body, find a rabbi to recite the mourner's Kaddish and offer the boy a proper burial.
Watch the trailer here.


Final tips: To end with to completely different films. The very absurd and dark comedy films Inglourious Basterds and Jojo Rabbit.