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THE GIRL WITH THE RED HAIR

Netherlands, 1981 (MIFF 1982)

Director: Ben Verbong

May 1945 The Netherlands has been liberated and the war in Europe is drawing to its close The jubilant Dutch strike up their national anthem But Ann does not share the joy of her compatriots She thinks back to the war years and her comrade at arms, Hannie Schaft.

The prim and proper daughter of middle class parents, Hannie was continuing her clandestine law studies in Amsterdam For her, justice was not purely a theoretical ideal She had refused to pledge loyalty to the forces of occupation and then decided to abandon her studies Fired with her convictions, Hannie joined a small resistance group with communist leanings She had turned her back on her Protestant upbringing and the Christian resistance movement It is then that she met Ann, already deeply involved and responsible for the liquidation of collaborators Hannie did not feel cut out for the role of activist heroine and chose a more low key role as courier But then she met Hugo, a rugged individual who had his doubts about women m the resistance, but who gradually grew to accept and love Hannie as she adapted herself to a direct confrontation of fascist violence, and to loving Hugo Frustrated with the moderation displayed by their comrades at arms, Hannie and Hugo decided to go it alone and carry out their own reprisals.

This first feature by Ben Verbong is an assured piece of historical drama Eschewing psychological explanation and draining most of the color from the scene, it gazes on this remarkable woman's reaction to fascism and terror, and her resort to the use of similar methods

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