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Staff Picks Format: Blu-ray

Winter in Wartime [, ]



This beautifully shot period film follows 13 year old Michiel, a small town boy in Nazi-occupied Holland in the Winter of 1945.  Michiel’s childhood innocence and restless desire for adventure lead him into increasingly dark and morally ambiguous territories when the realities of war,  resistance and adulthood collide and converge upon his small town life. He is apprehensive about his father’s uneasy cooperation with their German occupiers and looks up to his uncle Ben, a resistance fighter whose connections, gifts and attitude intrigue Michiel. When an allied fighter pilot crashes near the village, Michiel and his sister, a young nurse, are drawn into the search for the pilot and must debate whether to take action or remain silent, and question who they can truly trust. The film, while somewhat conventional in some of its WWII era plotlines, offers enough twists and intrigue to keep the viewer’s attention, but its real appeal is grounded heavily in the films setting. The scenes are filmed beautifully and the village, woods, snow, bicycles, knitwear and natural light combine to give the film an enchanting sense of place, and ground the viewer in Michiel’s conflicted world, caught between action and fear, occupation and resistance and childhood innocence and the risks of adult responsibilities. This film is one of several Forbes films now added in Blu-Ray and DVD (both discs are included in one case, so patrons will not mistakenly get home and find the film unplayable), and the Blu-Ray is especially recommended for its crisp picture, which captures the film’s setting wonderfully.

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