Modern times

The period immediately after the second world war brought very big changes in the Netherlands. In order to understand this, one has to realize a impoverished country had to be rebuilt. But, after all, it was important that the Dutch soon also realized that they had become a small kingdom. After the battle on the Javasea, it actually had no fleet of significance anymore. After the independance of the East Indies (Indonesia) the country had become also very small in surface.

The kingdom also no longer the largest Muslim country (in population) in the world!
Furthermore, the impoverished land was also hit by a devastating water disaster. All of this was confirmed by films they saw in the 1945s – 1955s in their cineacs. (Many Dutch emigrated during this period).

Surinam (South-America) and the Antilles (Caribian) were known as the West Indies.

In their Cineac’s the Dutch saw the “Polygon journals”. Here follows 5 summaries of those weekly journals. They show how the Netherlands recovered, step by step, from their deep poverty, and became a prosperous country again:

1940 – 1945  Netherlands in WWII      1h13 min. b/w   Polygon journals,         Dutch.
1945 – 1950  Netherlands 1                 1h30 min. b/w  Polygon journals,          Dutch.
1950 – 1955  Netherlands 2                 1h27 min. b/w  Polygon journals,          Dutch.
1955 – 1960  Netherlands 3                 1h29 min. b/w  Polygon journals,          Dutch.
1960 – 1965  Netherlands 4                 1h30 min. b/w  Polygon journals,          Dutch.

The following films, which were shown in the first years after liberation, give an idea of what the Dutch saw after liberation. (The film about the B-company was a contribution of the Americans wich saw Dutch servicemen, after the war, to give them motivation after they were called “into arms” 🙂 ).

Years ’40:
1940 Battle on the Grebbenberg,          1h01 min.  Dutch Docu channel,         Dutch.
1942 Battle on the Javasea,                   6:48 min. N.I. Oorlogsdocumentatie, English.
1945 Liberation of the Netherlands,     18:02 min. Canadian army,                  Dutch.
1945 Liberation of Amsterdam,              9:50 min. Divers,                                Music.
1950 Ondergang v/d B-compagnie,     28:38 min. American army,                  Dutch.

* With films such as Kruimentje and Ciske de Rat, the Dutch film revived (besides the American films, which are mentioned separately – as imports). Some of these films came back as musicals. See Kruimeltje (2013) and Ciske de Rat (2014).
(Note: these stories started their life as boys books).
* Very special was the year 1956 with the Hungarian uprising and the first war between Israel and Arabs (the Suez crisis). The Hungarian refugees are fully intergrated in the Dutch population.

Years ’50:
1952 Houen zo,                                   20:29 min. b/w    Herman v/d Horst,     Dutch.
1953 Watersnood                              19:49 min. b/w    Polygoon journaal,    Dutch.
1953 Watersnood,                              18:39 min.  b/w    Radio Union & ANP, Dutch.
1954 Kruimeltje,                                   1h51 min.  b/w    Shooting star film,    Dutch.
1955 / 1985 Ciske de rat (remake),     2h39 min.  colour, Guido Pieters,        Dutch.

* With the start of the famous ’60s, the Netherlands became more prosperous. Poverty disappeared and money was spent on pleasures as a cinema visit. These were mainly Anglo-American films, but also the Dutch film revived. Due to commercial rights, only a limited list of links to them can be given. Joris Evans got the company of Bert Haanstra and later, from Frans Rademakers. Their films are not included in this chapter but in the own paragraphs. Read: Cinema).
* It was the movie Faja Lobie that made the dutch realize there was still a part of the Dutch kingdom outside Europe. Thus, interest in that world outside Europe grew again.
* The Overval is the only film to which the (former) resistance has helped.

Years ’60:
1960 Faja Lobie (hot love),                1h07 min.  kleur,  Herman v/d Horst,   Surinaams,
1962 de Overval,                               1h39 min.  b/w      Carrillion Films,       Dutch,
1962 de Cuba crisis,                          5:14 min.  b/w      Diversen,                 Dutch,
1962 Open that Village,                      3:26 min.  b/w      Diversen,                Dutch,
1968 Spring in Prague,                      2:56 min.  b/w      ???                          Music,
???? Soso Lobie (nothing but love),  1h34 min. colour, Isaura Sanwirjatmo, Surinaams

* With the introduction of the Mammoet law (education reform, English became a very present language) Dutch films came with English subtitles such as Turkish fruit show it. (Useful for export!). The Anglo-Saxon influence grew strongly (and was highly critically reviewed, so there came also the major Vietnam- and Flower power demonstrations).
* The increasing prosperity brought traffic problems, the car demanded space, in the old inner cities. So there had to be modernized at the expense of old buildings and city parks. The number of road casualties grew explosively and the bicycle got a hard time. As a result, the Flowerpower generation also got “Hollanditis”!

 * After Suriname became independent on November 25, 1975, it chose to retain Dutch as its national language. The movie Wan Pipel shows that. Thus, Suriname (in addition to Flanders and the Netherlands) became also a member of the Dutch language union. The ideal to reunite all forms of the Dutch language has come a step closer. Only South Africa and Namibia are still missing (for political reasons).

Years ’70:
1973 Turks fruit,                                  1h48 min. colour, Holland bv,  Dutch & Eng. sub.
1976 Wan pipel, (one people),            1h47 min. kleur,    Wim Verstappen,     Dutch.

* The next period is somewhat confusing: the European Union is getting more influence on the Member States. Relations with the eastern European countries deteriorate as the EU becomes stronger. Even with the United States, relations became more difficult.
* On October 29, 1983, more than half a million Dutchmen traveled to The Hague and protested a day in the city center at government buildings against the American desire to place missiles (with nuclear bombs) in the Netherlands.

* Then, on November 9, 1989, the incredible thing happens: the Wall in Berlin falls!

Years ’80:
1983 De lift,                                          1h34 min.  colour,   Dick Maas,           Dutch.
1983 Anti-nuke demonstrations,              15 min.  colour,   National TV,         Dutch.
1989 De val van de Berlijnse muur,      7:01 min.  colour,   National TV,         Dutch.
1989 De Fall of the Berlin wall,           10:00 min.  colour,   American TV,       English.

* In the years 1991 – 1992, the Soviet Union splits into 15 sovereign states. So the cold war ended and the EU made many overtime hours. Tilt point was the attempted coup (by the Russian army) in Moscow in August 1991. Most of the Dutch were again hooked on their radio’s and televisions.
* On May 10, 1997, by finishing the Maeslandkering, the delta plan, started after the big floodings of 1953, was completed. Holland was safe to the sea until 2100 (worst case), most Dutchmen thought.

Years ’90:
1990 Gulle minnaar,                            1h30 min.  colour,   Rob Houwer,        Dutch.
1993 Oeroeg,                                      1h49 min.  colour,   Hans Hylkema,     Dutch.
1993 De kleine blonde dood,              1h31 min.  colour,   Rob Houwer,         Dutch.

With the disappearance of the Soviet Union, the balance between capitalism and socialism shifted worldwide. This meant that many (especially Eastern European) states became more capitalist, but also that global tensions grew between countries. In the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and South America, this was clearly detectable. In the beginning, it was thought to solve this with economic aid and military peace missions. This has been very costly and only showed very limited succes. The result was a large flow of refugees to western Europe and northern America. The result is (local cultural confrontation and high costs) so a growing dissatisfaction in recipient countries. This disgrace is also reflected in their economies that began in 2007 with a financial crisis.

By 2017, Germany, Scandinavia and the Netherlands have overcome that crises. The people hope that their prosperity soon returns to their former level. But the Dutch do not see this in their cineacs anymore, but in news broadcasts on their TVs. Those news broadcasts are in competion so need to attract viewers so prefer to present sensations. So no longer they present, first and foremost, actual news and success (like the cineac did) but emotions and setbacks (competion about 30 TV channels). In their newspapers there is the same tinder. In the movies, if they are still watching them, the atmosphere is not very different.

Years 2000:
2001 De ontdekking van de hemel,     2h04 min. colour,  Jeroen Krabbé,      English.
2006 Zwartboek, Paul Verhoeven,
2006 Bolletjes Blue’s,                          1h28 min. colour,  Mountain Movies,   Dutch.

* In the last sixty years the Netherlands has changed a lot. The influence of the EU also meant that everything had to be more efficient. For example, the police organization is now no longer locally organized but nationally organized. Today many Dutchman doubt whether good choices have been made. Examples are the deadly attacks in the big cities and the abduction of Albert. Heijn. So the critical question awoke: are the right choises made?
* In 2014, there was acrisis in Ukraine, and a Dutch-based aircraft with xxx Dutchmen was shot down. The Dutch begin to wonder if there is a peaceful and also sustainable society possible with the peoples of eastern Europe.
Years 2010:
2011: Ontvoering van A. Heineke,      1h55 min.  colour,  Maarten Treurniet, Dutch.
2014: The Ukraïne crisis,                   31:53 min.  colour,                                English.
2017: United Kingdom leaves EU, Cameron loses, the Brexit wins the referendum.
But positive effects can also be reported. Never before did the Dutch lived so long and healthy. They have never been so highly educated, on average. Finally, the average, Dutch, never traveled so far and far. In other words, they never did so much knowledge and experience and had so much time to use and enjoy it. The high investment in youth still yields high returns. It is the best hope for a good future.

* Overview Dutch movies see: een overzicht,
* EYE Filmmuseum, Amsterdam.


After the Second World War, the Netherlands had no film industry anymore, daily survival and recovery were more important than relaxation and fun. So there was a willing sales market for American film products (Hollywood). As a result, it may be useful to realize what was in the mind of the Dutch movie viewers.
Therefore, first, two films about WWI (Dutch people saw them befor WWII) and two on WWII (the Dutch saw them after WWII) are added to this list. This add-ons may make clear what the movies: the bridge on the river Kwai, Sink the Bismarck, The Guns of Navaronne, etc., made the older viewers in the Netherlands think: “Has nobody learned something by history?”
1916 Battle of Jutland,                         47:12 min.  History repeats itself,             English.
1918 The noise and the fury,

1944 D-day part 1,                               43:48 min. National Geographic,              English.
1944 D-day part 2,                               43:47 min. National Geographic,              English.

1956 The trapeze,                               1h42 min.  colour,  James R. Webb,         English.
1957 The bridge on the river Kwai,     2h35 min.  colour,  David Lean,                 Frence.

1960 Sink the Bismarck,                     1h37 min.  b/w,      Edmund H. North,        English.
1961 The guns of Naverone,              2h10 min.  colour,                                       Engilsh.
1961 El Cid,
1961 Westside story,                          2h25 min.  kleur,  20th century,                  Engels.
1962 The longest day,
1962 How the west was won,             2h17 min.  colour,  Alfred Newman,           English.

1970 Ryan’s daughter,                       1h43 min.  colour,   David Lean,                 Engels.
1977 A Bridge too far,

1986 A Space Odyssey (remake),      3h03 min.

1992 Wuthering Heights part 1,         1h22 min.  colour, Peter Bowker,                Engels.
1992 Wuthering Heights part 2,         1h13 min.  colour, Peter Bowker,                Engels.

2005 Casanova,
2006 The Da Vinci Code,                    2h22 min.  kleur, Ron Howard,                  Engels.

???? The war in Vietnam, (analyse)