Helping to shelter a downed RAF pilot, and increasingly at odds with his father (Raymond Thiry), the town mayor, Michiel feels much closer to his Resistance-allied uncle (Yorick van Wageningen) and looks upon wartime as a particularly heady escapade.
The director, Martin Koolhoven, does a decent job of framing the story from Michiel’s prespective while, at the same time, allowing us to see beyond it. (The boy’s resentment of his father’s reconciliations with the Nazis, for example, betrays his naiveté of what one must do to survive.) Nothing in this film approaches the boy’s-eye view of war that, say, John Boorman achieved in “Hope and Glory,” but it’s an affecting, if somewhat flavorless, journey. Grade: B (Rated R for some language.)