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Genre – Christian non-fiction, biography, drama
Setting – Haarlem, Holland, 1940
Length – 2 hr 30 min
Rating – PG
The Hiding Place is a true story set in Holland during the Nazi takeover of Europe during World War II. It is a gripping account of a patriotic, Christian family that takes in and hides Jewish people to keep them from being arrested and killed in concentration camps in Germany. The Ten Boom family owns an established clock and watch business in Haarlem, Holland and is well known in the community.
The movie is true to the book which was written by Corrie Ten Boom. The book is available in paperback and kindle through Amazon which can be ordered here.
At the start of the movie, a series of photos of the real Ten Boom family are shown, portraying a happier time. The music throughout the movie is moving and mysterious, invoking the proper emotions for the story.
In the first scene, you see a typical street scene of this quaint and beautiful town in Haarlem. You hear the voice of the Queen of the Netherlands addressing the people via BBC on the radio. She gives a poignant speech warning the people about this hostile takeover of a free country. The political aspect of the event was not the focus of the movie, as the emphasis Corrie Ten Boom really wanted to bring across was how God remained faithful as Corrie and her sister Betsey put their trust in Him. It is fascinating to see the lengths the Ten Boom family went through to accommodate and protect the Jews that came to them. They provided food, comfortable rooms, and places to hide which required structural changes to the house.
” For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38,39
The whole family, including the father, Casper; the daughters, Corrie and Betsey; and the grandson, Kik are all eventually arrested and brought to concentration camps. The movie follows Corrie and Betsey and their time spent in Ravensbruk, a women’s concentration camp in Northern Germany. Betsey’s faith never waivers and comes out with some incredibly profound statements worth quoting. Her love for her offenders and for the lost is astounding. While Betsey sees the good in everything, Corrie sees the cruelty by the guards and the beating of her sister by one of the guards as horrific, and struggles with bitterness and resentment.
The acting is phenomenal. The cast just draws you in with raw emotion and the portrayal of their characters. You completely forget they are acting.
As the family is arrested, they are trusting God and refuse to compromise their convictions about helping those in need. As the Nazi soldiers are escorting them into a truck, one of them gives Casper a chance to stay home if he agrees to behave and not help any more Jews. He is a genuine hero as his response was, “If I stay behind, I will open my door to anyone who asks for help.” We don’t see Casper anymore, but hear of his death later on.
As Corrie and Betsey were being admitted into the camp, the guards were searching the inmates. Corrie was trying to sneak in a bible and prayed that God would make a way. God answered her prayer and there was a distraction with one of the women which caused Corrie not to be searched.
The conditions of the concentration camp were horrendous. The sleeping quarters were overcrowded and dirty. There was a scene where there was an infestation of lice. No one could see how lice could be anything but another awful plague for them to endure, but Betsey was thankful for the lice because the guards would not enter the room, which allowed them to have bible studies with the women.
Corrie Ten Boom lives through the ordeal and is discharged through a clerical error. She spent the rest of her life speaking in sixty countries and writing books, and as she put it, would tell her story “to anyone who would listen”.
“No pit is so deep that He is not deeper still.” – Betsey Ten Boom
“Jesus is the light in darkness.” – Betsey Ten Boom
“Our heavenly Father holds all things in His hands, even our questions.” – Corrie Ten Boom
I highly recommend this movie. It is a true portrayal of the persecution of the Jewish people and their sympathizers during the Nazi occupation, showing the faithfulness of God and the faith of this family. Some of the scenes in the concentration camp are a bit graphic, but there is no foul language, nudity or sex.
The Hiding Place and other wholesome, family friendly movies are available thru PureFlix, a video streaming service. Read about PureFlix and check out their free trial by clicking here.