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Het Bittere Kruid 1985
Description: This movie is about the Jewish woman Sara and the crash of her family during Globe Fight II. Her parents have to live in the Jewish ghetto in Amsterdam, but soon they are arrested and deported. Sara decides to flee with her brother and his girlfriend to Palestine. Based on the ebook by Marga Minco.
Released: 25 Apr 1985 Director: Kees Van Oostrum Writers: Maurice Noel, Marga Minco (novel) Actors: Ester Spitz, Gerard Thoolen, Kitty Courbois, Frank Rigter Genres: Biography, Drama, War
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Het Bittere Kruid Reviews:

Kees van Oostrum, greatest known as a cinematographer, had wanted to movie Marga Minco's semi autobiographical novel 'Het Bittere Kruid' ever since discovering it as part of his reading list at school. Indeed, I dare tell most Dutch students have read or at least heard of the game during their education. Van Oostrum finally got the change in 1985, but managed to be sued by the creator herself when he and writer Maurice Noel decided to add a subplot in which Sara, the lead hero (and also Marga Minco's real first name) stays in touch with a girlfriend who's father is an NSB'er (Dutch collaborator with the Germans). Minco pleaded to have the movie banned from theaters, or at the very least change the title. But when producer Rob Houwer explained this would mean a financial disaster, the judge ruled vs the author. The filmmakers were however obliged to place a statement at the begin of the movie pronouncing Minco's rejection of the adaption.At the begin of the film, Sara (Ester Spitz) is being treated for tuberculosis in a sanatorium where she has become quick mates with Greet (Mirjam de Rooij). When Greet's father, a prominent sympathizer with the Nazi's notices Sara is a Jew, he makes sure she is sent home immediately. Despite having been occupied by the Germans for two years now, 15 year old Sara is only just beginning to realize how many restrictions are being place on her people. When her father (Gerard Thoolen) brings home a pack of yellow stars to be sewn on the family member's coats, they all see it as a bit of a lark and joke around showing off their fresh accessories. While her brother and his girlfriend are making plans to escape to Palestina, Sara decides she would rather stay with her parents who have been forced into a Jewish ghetto in Amsterdam. She also starts visiting Greet, who is still very ill and who's house is usually filled with youthful collaborators thanks to her father.During the eighties Dutch folks often reasoned that Dutch movies everytime either were about the fight or about sex. 'Het Bittere Kruid' is definitely about the former, though there is a surprising lack of the latter. This is probably because the lead hero is a minor and manages to remain quite innocent despite the circumstances. The movie quite unusual in it's category as it is fully shot from the perspective of a Jewish family and becomes a very private and intimate story. There are no large set pieces or heroic actions. The movie is also very short and ends rather abruptly, giving it some type of TV film feeling. In fact, the storyline is so thin, the plot synopsis on the back of the DVD cover says the whole story. Still, Ester Spitz is very nice in her movie debut as Sara. It's a shame the actress didn't go on to greater fame.7 out of 10 PS released as part of the Rob Houwer collection, the only additional on the DVD is the theatrical trailer, which as usual in Dutch cinema is very sloppily edited. It looks like they just took some footage and randomly slash it in no particular order. With Marga Minco wanting to stop folks from seeing this at the cinema, she couldn't have done better if she had slash that trailer herself.



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