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Ben Verbong films February strike | Movie

Pupkin Film by Pieter Kuijpers produces the 5-part TV drama, Willem Bosch (Belicher, Penoza) writes the screenplay. The series is based on the books that resistance fighter and writer Theun de Vries wrote about the February strike. He also published in 1956 The girl with the red hair, about the Haarlem resistance heroine Hannie Schaft. Twenty-five years later that novel was also made into a film by Ben Verbong, with Renée Soutendijk in the title role.

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Renée Soutendijk as Hannie Schaft in "The girl with the red hair".

Renée Soutendijk as Hannie Schaft in “The girl with the red hair”.

The February strike, organized by the Communist Party of the Netherlands, started on February 25, 1941 in Amsterdam and soon expanded to several other cities, including Zaandam, Hilversum and Utrecht. The immediate cause was two raids by the Germans, in which hundreds of Jewish men were arrested in the capital.

The occupier ruled with brute force and intimidation on the February strike. The breaking of the workers’ protest killed nine and seriously injured dozens. Many strikers were also imprisoned. The action was ended on February 26. “The series follows a number of families who are involved in the strike in different ways,” says Ben Verbong from his hometown of Munich. The filmmaker has worked mainly in Germany for over twenty years.

Producer Pupkin is still in talks with calls and streaming providers to see where this series about the February strike will be shown. “If things go well, we could already play next year”, says Verbong, who will first be on the set of When I saw you, an adaptation of Isa Hoes’ bestseller of the same name about her relationship with Antonie Kamerling.

Film director Ben Verbong.

Film director Ben Verbong.

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