CANNON MONTH: The Assault (1986)

The Assault won the 1986 Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, which fulfilled some of the dreams of Menahem Golam and Yoram Globus, but they only distributed the film instead of producing it.

An adaption of The Assault by Harry Mulisch, it’s a story about the end of World War II and the evening that a Nazi collaborator is shot dead on his bicycle. He falls in front of a house, but the family there moves it to the Steenwijk house. The Nazis assume they are the killers, so they kill Anton’s (Marc van Uchelen as a child, Derek de Lint as an adult) parents and brother in front of him.

Over the rest of his life, he comes to grips with what happened that night. His memories are filled in and he tries to get past the horror that he’s lived through, even as he becomes a successful doctor.

This movie — and the book — were inspired by a real event. Fake Krist, a Dutch police officer and national-socialist who helped the Nazis hunt Jews and resistance fighters was killed in 1944 and in retaliation, Nazi forces executed ten inmates and torched four houses. The way that the man is shot on his bike by a man and a woman was taken from the death of W. M. Ragut, which inspired The Girl with the Red Hair.

Director Fons Rademakers also made Because of the Cats and Lifespan, one of the first mainstream movies to show shibari bondage.

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