Review: Beyond, Beyond (1979)

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Director: Paul Verhoeven | 65 minutes | drama | Actors: Leontien Ceulemans, Andrea Domburg, Lous Hensen, Simone Kleinsma, Diane Lensink, Hidde Maas, Guus Oster, Jan Retèl, Piet Römer, Riek Schagen, Maarten Spanjer, Jan Staal, André van den Heuvel, Bep Dekker, Elja Pelgrom

“Voorbij, Voorbij” is an early TV film by Verhoeven, which saw the light of day when he had already made his most popular and best-received films “Turkish Delight” and “Soldier of Orange”. We clearly see a man at work who has already gained the necessary experience. As a kind of aftermath of ‘Soldier van Oranje’ that Verhoeven made two years earlier, this concerns the aftermath of the Second World War, when Ab (André van den Heuvel) tries to get his group of resistance friends together after thirty-five years to settle the account. This account had come into being a few days before the end of the war, when a mutual friend of the group, Arie, was shot dead by traitor Niels, who had joined the SS. Just like the members of the resistance in “Zwartboek”, under the leadership of Derek de Lint, the friends here decide to take revenge, “anyway” (not surprisingly, this is the same script writer, Gerard Soeteman).

It has become a dramatically very effective film with excellent acting, subtle scenes, and interesting moral dilemmas. Do they have to shoot an old man now? Should anyone be punished at all costs? Ab is not getting the responses he expected. “I don’t want to kill anyone anymore” is a comment he hears. And “every life is precious”. He is accused of living in the past, and when he states that they should set an example for the children, who should learn from history, he is told: “The only thing we learn from history is that we are there. learn nothing from it ”.

The film contains beautiful character scenes between the different, experienced actors, and knows how to achieve tension and anticipation as well as effective drama. Interesting visual cues can also be observed in various places. For example, a simple act such as closing one of the characters’ robes is an important visual sign of a shocking event that is about to unfold. Apart from a somewhat out of tune running scene with silly, dated music underneath, there is hardly a weak moment to be discovered in the film. “Beyond, Beyond” is a powerful, well-acted and directed drama that definitely deserves a new lease of life.

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