"Could Be Cleaner"
What You Need To Know:
Overall, WINTER IN WARTIME is a high quality foreign language production with many tense, revealing moments handled deftly. It is also well acted, generating much sympathy for its young hero. However, the movie has brief strong foul language and gratuitous lewd content that detract from its focus and undermine its inspiring qualities. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for WINTER IN WARTIME.
(B, Pa, C, LL, VV, S, NN, D, M) Light moral worldview with some pagan sexual behavior by two characters shot matter of factly, with one incidental reference to Jesus Christ and “God the father”; eight obscenities (including four “f” words) and two strong profanities (a “J” word and a “C” word); strong violence with some blood includes soldier shoots another soldier, and later that the soldier was found dead; wound on man’s leg, animal breaks a leg and the broken bone can be seen, animal put out of its misery, soldiers chase teenager and another soldier, Nazi firing squad execute three civilians who collapse, executed dead man has blood under his head, and spy is shot but only the shooter is shown; teenage brother finds his older sister in bed with young man; shots of dirty playing cards with upper female nudity; no alcohol use; smoking; and, teenage boy hiding an Allied English soldier during World War II lies to his father and uncle, and villain betrays people but he gets his just deserts.
WINTER IN WARTIME is a richly compelling, emotional Dutch movie about a teenager’s coming of age during the harsh National Socialist occupation of Holland by Hitler’s Germany during World War II. Some negative content detracts from its success, however.
Young Michiel, age 13, has an easy time during the occupation because his father is mayor. The older brother of his best friend gives him a message to deliver to the blacksmith in case he doesn’t make it back from an attempt to destroy the German ammunition depot. Sure enough, the friend’s older brother gets arrested, and the Nazis shoot the blacksmith before Michiel can deliver the message.
Michiel opens up the message. It provides directions into the woods where the brother and the blacksmith were hiding an English paratrooper whose plane was shot down. Michiel tries to help the wounded soldier, Jack, without telling his parents. Even his older sister, Erica, a nurse, gets involved. Michiel gets jealous, however, because Jack and Erica are clearly attracted to one another.
The Germans discover the dead body of a soldier that Jack had to kill. This forces Michiel to come face-to-face with the harsh realities of the war. Michiel decides to take action, but without knowing who to trust.
The young hero of this well-made drama faces terrible ordeals and dilemmas in the second half of WINTER IN WARTIME. He even has to confront a horrible act of betrayal in the third act. The whole situation forces him to grow up pretty fast and make major moral decisions well beyond his years.
Overall, WINTER IN WARTIME is a high quality foreign language production with many tense, revealing moments handled deftly. It is also well acted, generating much sympathy for its young hero. However, the movie has brief strong foul language and gratuitous lewd content that detract from its focus and its inspiring qualities. Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
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