Zwartboek (known as the black book in Spain and Colombia , Black book. The black book in Argentina and The blacklist in Mexico and Venezuela ) is a 2006 film directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Carice van Houten , Sebastian Koch and Thom Hoffman . The feature film, a war drama of intrigue, tells how a young Jewish singerjoins the Dutch resistance during World War II and infiltrates Nazi headquarters seducing a German officer.

It premiered on September 1, 2006 at the Venice Film Festival .

At the time of the release, it was the most expensive Dutch film in history, as well as the most successful film and commercial success of the Netherlands . In 2008 the public voted as the best film ever in the Netherlands .


The film takes place in the Netherlands in 1944, which is occupied by the German army . Rachel Stein ( Carice van Houten ), a Jewish singer who lived in Berlin before the war, lives hidden in the house of a Dutch family to evade measures of Nazi persecution . While Rachel is out of the house, it is destroyed along with its inhabitants by a bomb dropped by a battered US B-17 bomber . With the help of the young Rob Maalderink (Michiel Huisman), Rachel gets to the city of The Hague and meets with his parents and his brother Max (Seth Kamphuijs), who were also in hiding and along with other Jews try to flee By boat to the liberated part of the south of the country through the Biesbosch region, but they fall into an ambush of the German SS and all die machine-gunned, except for Rachel who is thrown into the river and rescued by a farmer who warns the resistance . Rachel assumes the alias Ellis de Vries with a false identity card provided by the partisans .

Rachel is actively involved in the cell of the Dutch resistance in The Hague, dyes her hair blond and sent by it seduces the Hauptsturmführer ( captain ), SD Ludwig Müntze ( Sebastian Koch ), who despite realizing that she Is Jewish offers you to work at the headquarters of the Gestapo in The Hague. There is the Obersturmführer ( Lieutenant ), Günther Franken (Waldemar Kobus), as commanding officer of the SS and recognizes it as the officer commanding the Germans in the ambush of the river where his family died. Always in charge of the resistance, she manages to put a listening system in her office, behind the portrait of Heinrich Himmler . Rachel falls in love with Müntze, who in contrast to Franken is neither abusive nor sadistic, and also begins a friendship with her Dutch colleague Ronnie (Halina Reijn), who has agreed to work as a secretary for the Germans and have sex with them so as not to suffer deprivation . She apparently does not react to the brutality of the Nazis towards her compatriots and only cares about her well-being.

Once Rachel identified Van Gein (Peter Blok), the Dutchman who collaborated with the Germans and surrendered Rachel’s family to his death, the resistance debated whether to kill him. Its leader Gerben Kuipers ( Derek de Lint ), decides not to do so to avoid reprisals against civilians, and against some colleagues arrested at the headquarters of the Gestapo, including Tim (Ronald Armbrust), the son of Kuipers, but some of them ignore the Order they try to kidnap Van Gein with an outdated chloroform , but when they do not they kill him and he falls into the river. The Germans, when they learn of the murder of their collaborator, decide to execute 40 Dutch civilians in retaliation, but Müntze, who knows that the allies are short, refuses. He has an incident with Franken and when he discovers that he negotiated with the resistance despite orders to the contrary, is condemned to death by treason.

The resistance cell plans to rescue the members of the group who are in jail to be executed but need the help of Rachel, she only agrees when they commit to include Müntze among the prisoners to be rescued. When they enter the cells, the Germans are waiting for them, they are killed and only one of them escapes, Hans Akkermans (Thom Hoffman).

Franken, who knew the listening system by means of an accusation, makes the resistance group believe that Rachel is a collaborationist and guilty of the failure of the rescue operation at the Gestapo barracks. Rachel is arrested and waits in the cell with Müntze for her execution; However, with the help of Ronnie, they escape and hide in the field until they hear the surrender of Germany on the radio.

When the country is liberated by the Allies, Rachel is again imprisoned, now by the Dutch and publicly humiliated as a traitor, while the Germans obtain from the Allies that the execution sentence is enforced against Müntze who is shot by the Obergruppenführer ( general ) , German Käutner ( Christian Berkel ), through an allied occupation order honoring German death sentences.

Akkermans, a physician and important member of the Kuipers Resistance Cell, takes Rachel out of Dutch prison at the time she was beaten and humiliated by prison guards.

Rachel suspects that the notary Wim Smaal (Dolf Vries), member of the resistance cell was actually a collaborationist but this same one is assassinated along with his wife (Diana Dobbelman), reason why she flees of the place taking with himself the black book Which the agonizing lawyer had given him to prove his innocence and at the same time accused the real traitor, Hans Akkermans.

Meanwhile, Akkermans assassinates Franken when he tries to flee to Hamburg by sea with a fabulous loot of jewels stolen from the Jews and then rescues Rachel from prison, tries unsuccessfully to kill her by injecting him with insulin , since he is the only person who can discover it , But she managed to escape and demonstrate with the black book her innocence to resistance leader Kuipers as he found the corpse of his son killed by the Nazis. She explains that Akkermans had collaborated with Franken on the killing of Jews, to keep their property and at the same time had betrayed the resistance. Together they intercept Akkermans who fled to Belgium hidden in a coffin with money and jewels and kill him.

Paul Verhoeven, director

Ronnie, for his part, avoids any sanctions for his collaborating behavior with the Nazis as he marries George (Skip Goeree), a Canadian soldier of the Allied forces and who would later become a religious minister .

Some years later, by chance, Ronnie, who is a tourist in Israel, finds Rachel working there at the school of a kibbutz financed with money and jewels worn by Akkermans and promises to be written. In the final scene the tranquility of Rachel and her family is interrupted by explosions heard in the distance; The siren announces an air strike and Israeli soldiers take positions in the front of the kibbutz, it is October 1956 and the Suez Crisis has begun …


Carice van Houten
Sebastian Koch
  • Carice van Houten as Rachel Stein, aka Ellis de Vries
  • Sebastian Koch as Ludwig Müntze
  • Thom Hoffman as Hans Akkermans
  • Halina Reijn as Ronnie
  • Waldemar Kobus as Günther Franken
  • Derek de Lint as Gerben Kuipers
  • Christian Berkel as Gral. Käutner, superior of Franken and Müntze in the SD
  • Dolf de Vries as the notary Wim Smaal, who makes the Black Book
  • Peter Blok as Van Gein, a police officer who betrays people who want to escape from occupied territory
  • Michiel Huisman as Rob, young man who helps Rachel Stein
  • Ronald Armbrust as Tim Kuipers member of the resistance, son of Gerben Kuipers
  • Frank Lammers as Kees, a member of the resistance
  • Matthias Schoenaerts as Joop, member of the resistance
  • Johnny de Mol as Theo, devout Christian and member of the resistance
  • Xander Straat as Maarten, member of the resistance
  • Diana Dobbelman as Mrs. Smaal
  • Skip Goeree as George, Canadian soldier / Ronnie’s husband


The film shows that during the German occupation the attitude of the Dutch population towards the persecution of the Jews was not uniform. While some risked their lives to help them, others were indifferent or anti-Semitic attitudes or even became accomplices to that persecution.

It also shows that neither on the German side nor attitudes were uniform, not all shared anti-Semitic persecution and acts of brutality that some worried more about their future welfare than the march of war.


Year Prize Category Result
2006 Venice Film Festival Golden lion Nominated
Young Film Award for Best International Film Winner
Dutch Film Festival Best film Winner
Best director Winner
Best Actress (Carice van Houten) Winner
Best Supporting Actress (Halina Reijn) Nominated
2007 London Critics Circle Film Foreign film of the year Nominated
BAFTA Awards Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
British Independent Film Awards Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
European Film Awards Best Actress (Carice van Houten) Nominated
Audience Award for Best Picture Nominated
Austin Film Critics Association Best Foreign Language Film Winner
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Most Promising Interpreter (Carice van Houten) Nominated
Rembrandt Awards Best film Winner
Best Dutch actress (Carice van Houten) Winner
2008 Best DVD Edition Winner
Online Film Critics Society Breakthrough Performer (Carice van Houten) Nominated
Film Critics Circle of Australia Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
German Film Awards Best Actress (Carice van Houten) Nominated
Best Costume Design (Jan Tax) Nominated
Saturn Awards Best International Film Nominated
Best Actress (Carice van Houten) Nominated