Original / alternative title: Oorlogswinter
Running time: 105 minutes
Language: Dutch / English / German
January 1945 in occupied Holland. Even though the outcome of the war seems certain German forces are trying to keep the area under control. During night flight British de Havilland Mosquito plane is shot down near the town where teenager Michiel van Beusekom lives. Michiel and his best friend Dirk, despite their young age, are helping the local resistance. They reach the remains of the plane, but are spotted by Germans and have to run away. Dirk manages to escape, but Michiel is caught by the soldiers. His father, who is mayor of the town, is in good terms with the Germans and manages to free him, but Michiel inspired by his uncle Ben, who is an adventurer, will not give up his resistance activities. He was given a letter from resistance to for to the local blacksmith, Bertus, but before he had a chance to deliver it Bertus was killed by Germans. Michiel opens the letter, where finds the location of British pilot that parachuted from the destroyed plane and now is hiding from Germans. Michiel finds the pilot, who is suspicious about the boy. Jack is injured and is hardly able to move, but in order to survive he has to reach Zwolle, where resistance can help him return to Britain.
Dutch war movie based on the Jan Terlouw novel tells the story of Dutch teenager, who has to grow up quickly when his actions could save the British pilot, but also bring death to his friends and family. Although based on a novel for teenagers Winter in Wartime is actually quite realistic war time drama that shows the reality of occupied Holland, where behind seemingly peaceful existence of Germans and locals there was always the atmosphere of suspicions and distrust. Just like War Horse this film is based on the teenagers novel, but manages to avoid being patronising and over-sentimental, it is quite good war movie.
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Winter in Wartime
Mieke de Jong
Paul Jan Nelissen
as Michiel van Beusekom
Jamie Campbell Bower
as Johan van Beusekom
Yorick van Wageningen
as Dirk Knopper
as Bertus Knopper
as Lia van Beusekom
Jan Terlouw’s novel
Although story in Jan Terlouw’s novel Winter in Wartime is fiction author based it on his own experience from World War 2 - as 8-year-old boy he remembered the atmosphere of the end of the war in occupied country.
Box office success
In Holland Winter in Wartime was the most popular movie of 2008 overshadowing such blockbusters as The Dark Knight and Twilight. With budget of about 4 million Euro it brought about 10 million Euro income.
Due to lack of snow in Holland Winter in Wartime was filmed mostly in Lithuania.
Jewish girl risks her life to infiltrate the German SD headquarters to help the resistance.
Germans gather all the Allied officers that frequently try to escape from the POW camps in one place - built from the scratch to prevent any escapes. But the Allied soldiers not only will attempt to escape, but they have plan for largest escape Germans have ever seen before.