Monday, June 11, 2007

Stamps play a role in Dutch film "Black Box"

Released in January, I finally got to see Black Book today.

The film is about a stamp collecting Nazi and the Dutch resistance during World War II.

With more plot twists than a pretzel, it was the official Netherlands entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the this year's Academy Awards.

Early on in the movie, Nazi officer Ludwig Müntze (played by Sebastian Koch) is on a train looking over his stamp album which contains stamps from the various countries he has "visited" such as Poland, France, and other countries occupied by the Germans.

The heroine, Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries (played by Carice van Houten) and he meet on the train and he tells her that he's collected since he was a young boy and that he's missing stamps from the Dutch East Indies.

Trying to win him over so that she can infiltrate Gestapo headquarters, she brings him the stamps he's missing.

To his credit, Herr Müntze uses tongs to examine Netherland Indies (SC #183) that has a picture of the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina on it.

But my favorite scene in the sub-titled film is when he chides an assistant not to have food or beverages near by while he's looking over the stamps... and Fraulein de Vries, whom he later invites back his room to look at his stamp collection some more.

Based on a true story, apparently the real head of the Dutch Gestapo was a stamp collector according to a review which appeared in the Chicago Reader.

BE FORWARNED! There's lots of female and some male nudity as well as some other pretty nasty stuff in the film.

To find out where the film is playing near you, click here. Not sure when it will be out on DVD.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM