Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A film by Martin Koolhoven

Martin Koolhoven's film, Winter in Wartime is set in Nazi-occupied Holland, 1945. In a snow-covered village, thirteen-year-old Michiel, son of the local mayor, is drawn into the Resistance when he aids a wounded British paratrooper. Michiel‘s boyish sense of defiance and adventure soon turns to danger and desperation, as he is forced to act without knowing whom to trust among the adults and townspeople around him.  The film generally succeeds in depicting the precarious position of the young boy as the situations he faces become more and more difficult to handle.  The best aspect of the film is the setting,:  the small village, and the foreboding forest that Michiel knows well.  But the forest grows sinister as the danger from Nazi occupiers seems omnipresent.
  The acting, especially by Martijn Lakemeier as Michiel, is excellent and the suspense believable for the most part; although the final section has a few too many close calls.  This does not detract from the overall enjoyment of a dramatic moment in one boys life -- his "winter in wartime".

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