#Film Review: Netflix’s The Resistance Banker (2018)

Director: Joram Lursen

Rating: 3/5

This film tackles the WWII and the dictatorship of the Nazi regime, perpetrated against the non-Jewish population in the occupied Netherlands. In this particular case, the film tackles the true story of a banker Walraven van Hall (Barry Atsma) who organised an underground bank to fund the resistance movement.

The film is thus centred on the banker, his brother and his growing network of bankers funding resistance. Many bankers joined because of a promise to get the money back after the war, but also because of anti-capitalist and anti-banking speeches by Nazi officials, and general terror in the country.

The film would be very interesting if it was faster and if it lasted half an hour less. The story develops painfully slow and some unnecessary details are over-emphasized, while others are not emphasized enough. For example, the process of printing fake bonds and documents is shown in much details, while we never find out who are the Meyers, the Jewish family that Walraven found dead and whose death prompted him to accept to fund resistance. In a few shots we do see wagons taking Jews to concentration camps, however, we do not see much of the horror that the WWII brought nor do we see the Nazi terror against the local population enough. We also do not get to meet resistance movement members enough, because they are introduced to the film only briefly. Finally, we know less than nothing about the traitor and his work prior to betraying the resistance bankers. Thus, the film feels more like a weird thriller than what is normally a film about WWII and the Holocaust.

Either way, the film is worth watching if you can cope for two hours, because the story of a brave banker who saved so many by funding the resistance movement is worth watching. I did not know about Walraven van Hall and I am pleased I watched the film. I am even more pleased that the Dutch Government finally recognised his contribution and that he got the monument in 2010.

Thank you for reading.

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