De Berg (1982)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Politics & Government  |   Run Time - 108 min.  |   Countries - Netherlands  |  
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In this documentary, five old-guard Dutch Communists are interviewed on the occasion of the abandonment of the original Communist Party building in Amsterdam for a move to other headquarters. The five recount their own personal sacrifices to advance the ideals of Socialism in the 1930s and '40s against the prevailing capitalism of most countries outside the Soviet bloc. More than one survived a concentration camp and/or close calls with the executioner, another stayed at home to face life as a single parent when her husband was taken away by the Gestapo, all have stories of selfless dedication to an ideal they firmly believed in -- until Kruschev denounced the excesses of Joseph Stalin and the bottom fell out of their belief system. One of the five, Nel Visch, who went to the Soviet Union to work when she was a young teenager, has never been able to set foot in the Communist Party headquarters after the Kruschev era, and never will. Another, Gerard Maas remained active but deeply regrets his actions as a Party official when he was forced to expel people from the CP ranks after Kruschev condemned "past mistakes." As each of the aging individuals tells his or her story and reconciles the present with the past, new perspectives on what it meant to advocate communism before and after Stalin slowly emerge.