Filmfest 2008

'The Night Watch' is like an accusatory finger, like 'j’accuse' it’s an accusation against the very super rich plutocracy; the 12 ruling families that basically ruled Amsterdam in the 1640’s, and at the centre of that conspiracy everybody negotiating to find a better position for themselves I suppose in Dutch society, in the centre of all that there’s an act of violence and it explains this gunshot. If you think of Amsterdam in the 1640’s, it’s a city on the make. Its just come out of a long guerrilla war with the Habsburgs in Spain and you can almost say it’s a bit like Russia now, you know the foxes have gone into the hen house, all sorts of people are making money very quickly, not too many questions are being asked, a lot of bribery and coercion and pressures going on and the 12 ruling families of Amsterdam have the city under their thumb. For about 2 generations, 1600-1650, Amsterdam really was the centre of the Western world rich, powerful and very influential, enormous amounts of trade with the old world and the whole of the new world is opening up. Peter Greenaway

tags: Feature film

Cast: Martin Freeman, Emily Holmes, Jodhi May, Eva Birthistle


Director: Peter Greenaway