The Forgotten Battle
A CAST LIKE NO OTHER
Justus von Dohnànyi
Mark van Eeuwen
November 1944. On the flooded isle of Walcheren, Zeeland, thousands of Allied soldiers are battling the German army. Three young lives become inextricably connected. A Dutch boy fighting for the Germans, an English glider pilot and a girl from Zeeland connected to the resistance against her will, are forced to make crucial choices that impact both their own freedom and the freedom of others.
Three young people each experience the war from a different perspective, making it obvious that the boundary between right and wrong is by no means always clear, but that you cannot escape in having to make choices.
Alain de Levita was approached by the vfonds, the National Fund for Peace, Freedom and Veterans Care, after the production of the war film ‘Banker of the Resistance’. They wanted to do something in honour of 75 years of liberation to make the younger generation aware of what happened in the Netherlands. A feature film seemed to them to be the best way to do this.
Alain brought his partner and companion Paula van der Oest in for the screenplay. And he managed to get the interest of director Matthijs van Heijningen jr. to direct an epic story about war and freedom.
Matthijs seemed to be the perfect director for this film. He’s one of the few people in the Netherlands who knows how to do things big and make things special with CGI. That’s why The Forgotten Battle has become a film you hardly ever see in the Netherlands.
With a budget of 14 million euros, The Forgotten Battle is one of the most expensive Dutch films ever. No expense or effort is spared to make it clear what war does to people, especially young people, in the year that 75 years of peace are celebrated.
Central to the film is the ‘Battle of the Scheldt’, which took place in the autumn of 1944 in Zeeland and West-Brabant and in which more than 10,000 people lost their lives. This battle, which was decisive for the course of the Second World War, is known as one of the most important and fiercest battles in Western Europe. Yet little attention has been paid to it over the years. The film will change this and tells the story of three young characters who each deal with war and freedom in their own way.
Director Matthijs van Heijningen about “The Forgotten Battle”
A film with the theme ‘liberation’. What does ‘being liberated’ still mean for young people in 2020? Does it still mean anything 75 years after our last great war? Are today’s young people aware of the sacrifices young people made to liberate our country? What is it like to be faced with the choice of either cooperating with the occupying forces or risking your life for a greater good? What is it like to be seduced by the splendour of fascism and then face the inhuman consequences of that choice?
I do not think it is possible to imagine it now. I hope that this film will make tangible what young people have endured for the freedom of our country. The freedom in which we still live today. It is not only about physical freedom, but also about the freedom to be who you are, to be able to think what you think, to believe in what you believe in. Freedom is a universal theme of all times and unfortunately it is still relevant today.
In order to make a film that distinguishes itself from all those other films about WWII, a film that touches on the contemporary experience of freedom, we have chosen three different perspectives, those of three main characters: Teuntje, Marinus and William. Three young people who each experience war from a different perspective. In this way we hope to create a more nuanced image than the image of ‘us’ against ‘them’ and good versus evil. Because good and evil is in everyone and is something of all times.
The Forgotten Battle at school
Under the title V. a special education package around the movie The Forgotten Battle and the themes Fighting, Peace and Freedom is offered. This package is created for students of 14 years and older, following a vmbo, havo or vwo programme in The Netherlands. The package includes a magazine, a website with interactive assignments, a digital handout for in-classroom use and a digital teacher manual.
Using scenes from the film and interviews with cast and crew, V. makes the connection between the ‘forgotten battle’ and current social and cultural themes that are also discussed in school subjects, such as civic studies and history. V. discusses topics such as the fine line between right and wrong, freedom versus non-freedom and the importance of fundamental rights such as freedom of expression.
The education package is offered free of charge and can be ordered against shipping costs. For more information, please visit www.vechtenvredevrijheid.nl
Please note that all content of the education package is in Dutch.
AN INITIATIVE OF
A PRODUCTION OF
Directed by; Matthijs van Heijningen, Screenplay by; Paula van der Oest, Produced by: Alain de Levita, Executive Producers; Mark van eeuwen Paula van der Oest Frank Klein, Co-producer Caviar; Robin Kerremans Dimitri Verbeeck Bert Hamelinck, Co-producer Lithuania; Kęstutis Drazdauskas, Co-producer EO; Jacomien Nijhof, Director of Photography; Lennert Hillege NSC, Production designer; Hubert Pouille, Costume Design; Margriet Procee, Hair & make-up; Bianca van der Steen Jacqueline Hoogendijk, Casting by; Rebecca van Unen Gail Stevens CSA Rebecca Farhall, Film editor; Marc Bechtold, VFX supervisor; Laurent Creusot, Post production supervisor; Jo Nijns, Supervising sound editor/ re-recording mixer; Herman Pieëte CAS, Music by; Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, Line producers; Gerrit Martijn Donald Taylor
Gijs Blom, Susan Radder, Jamie Flatters, Jan Bijvoet, Tom Felton, Coen Bril, Theo Barklem-Biggs, Scott Reid, Marthe Schneider, Ronald Kalter, Justus von Dohnànyi, Mark van Eeuwen and Pit Bukowski
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Bestuur Stichting Financieel Beheer ‘De Slag om de Schelde’
Comité van Aanbeveling ‘De Slag om de Schelde’
De Slag om de Schelde Investment CV
Zeeland Film Ambassadors
Aangenaam Bergen op Zoom
Gemeente Bergen op Zoom
De Hoop Terneuzen BV
Engie Services Zuid BV
Gemeente Schouwen Duiveland
Nederlands Loodswezen regio Scheldemonden
ZIB Investments Crowdfunding
Stichting Cultuurfonds Zeelandia
Stichting Genootschap der Zeeuwse Commodores
COMITÉ VAN AANBEVELING ‘DE SLAG OM DE SCHELDE’
Filip D’Havé, Algemeen Afgevaardigde van de Vlaamse Regering in Nederland
Wim van de Donk, Commissaris van de Koning in Noord-Brabant (2009 – 2020)
Tobias van Gent, historicus en Tweede Kamer lid voor de VVD
Pieter Hendrikse, CEO van JLL Nederland
Bert van der Lingen, Consul-Generaal
Han Polman, Commissaris van de Koning in Zeeland
ZEELAND FILM AMBASSADORS
Nynke van der Ploeg
BESTUUR STICHTING FINANCIEEL BEHEER ‘DE SLAG OM DE SCHELDE’