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Pastorale 1943

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Director: Wim Verstappen
1975 / 125min / DCP

Set in a village in the Betuwe region during the German occupation of the Netherlands, Verstappen’s wartime drama of the resistance eschews the usual heroic treatment of the subject, instead depicting a very human—and very often ill-organized—band of citizen spies, led by Frederik de Groot’s schoolteacher, in their often bumbling attempts to get rid of a local collaborator pharmacist. With Rutger Hauer as the de Groot character’s Nazi brother, Renée Soutendijk (Spetters, The Fourth Man) as a farmer’s daughter, and Kristal—who declined pay to play the part—as the local English teacher who may not be what she seems. A formidable hit in the Netherlands on release, and one of the finest works from the too-little-known Verstappen.

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