11 movies about Dutch culture to watch

Even kijken! 🍿

If there’s one way to acquaint yourself with Dutch culture, it’s by grabbing a bucket of popcorn (or bitterballen) and checking out some Dutch films.

No need to scroll through the endless feeds of your streaming services — we’ve got you covered.

From classics to contemporaries, this list of 11 movies spans many aspects of Dutch culture.

A little bit of Dutch history here, a sprinkle of Dutch romance there, and some Dutch humour to end with a laugh. 🙌🏼

Historical Dutch movies

In the mood for some Dutch history lessons? Entertain yourself with some drama-filled stories about the Netherlands’ rich past.

1. Zwartboek — for those who want to learn about the resistance

Make sure the kids are asleep when you watch this one! Zwartboek — which translates to black book — is based on true events and historical figures from the Netherlands during World War II

This film features Rachel, a young Jewish woman, played by Carice van Houten, who joins the Dutch resistance movement.

This character is based on Esmée van Eeghen, a Dutch resistance member who fought against the Nazis with stealth and courage.

READ MORE | Hannie Schaft: the Dutch spy who was executed by the Nazis

🎂 Year: 2006
💻 Online availability: Videoland and Pathé Thuis
⏰ Duration: 2h25m
⭐️ IMDB rating: 7.7/10

2. Admiral “Michiel de Ruyter” — a movie set in Dutch waters

This film is full of sailing ships and canals, does it get more Dutch than this? 

The Dutch title of this film is “Michiel de Ruyter”, the admiral in question. The film follows De Ruyter as he leads the navy during the Anglo-Saxone wars between the 17th and 18th centuries. 

The film is set entirely in the Netherlands, with scenes in Zeeland, Texel, the Wadden Sea, and the Ridderzaal.

If you want to get an idea of what the Netherlands looked like 400 years ago, this movie is for you! 😉  

🎂 Year: 2015
💻 Online availability: Videoland and Pathé Thuis
⏰ Duration: 2h31m
⭐️ IMDB rating: 7/10

3. My best friend, Anne Frank — for a different narrative

In this tear-jerker, we learn about Anne Frank’s story as retold through the eyes of her best friend, Hannah Goslar.

Directed by Ben Sombogaart, the film offers a fresh perspective on the heartbreaking story of Anne Frank during WWII in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. This is also the first Dutch cinema film about Anne Frank’s life. 

Originally based on the book “Memories of Anne Frank: Reflections of a Childhood Friend” by Alison Leslie Gold, the film visualises Goslar’s viewpoint of Anne Frank during WWII. 

Fair warning: there are quite a few scenes in concentration camps. 

🎂 Year: 2021
💻 Online availability: Netflix and Ziggo Go
⏰ Duration: 1h40m
⭐️ IMDB rating: 6.2/10

4. De Oost — a tale of Dutch colonialism in post-WWII Indonesia

This movie follows Johan, a Dutch soldier deployed to Indonesia to fight against the Indonesian struggle for independence. 

Throughout the story, Johan begins to question the war and the motives of the historical figure and Dutch army leader, Raymond Westerling. 

If you’re into themes of colonialism and Dutch guerillas, this would be at the top of our recommendation list! 

🎂 Year: 2020
💻 Online availability: Amazon Prime 
⏰ Duration: 2h21m
⭐️ IMDB rating: 6.9/10

5. Soldier of Orange — a glimpse of Dutch students during WWII

Originally a book, this film depicts the different roles of students in the Netherlands throughout WWII and their contributions to the war. 

It sheds light on both Dutch resistance and collaboration movements — with a touch of romance, of course.

As the credits roll, this film will make you wonder: “Is everything really fair in love and war?”  

🎂 Year: 1977
💻 Online availability: Internet Archive
⏰ Duration: 2h32m
⭐️ IMDB rating: 7.6/10

Dutch Romance films 

If you’re searching for something more sentimental, tune into these Dutch romances that showcase a range of love stories for your achy-breaky hearts. 💔

6. Anne + — for queer representation in film

Anne + began as a Dutch Netflix original series. Due to its popularity, the award-winning show was made into its very own full-length movie!

The film follows Anne, a 20-year-old lesbian writer living in Amsterdam who’s unsure of how to move forward with her career.

While she prepares to leave for Montreal to pursue her relationship with Lou, she struggles to find what she really wants in life. 

This film is great when it comes to the representation of the LGBTQ+ community in cinema. 🏳️‍🌈 Grab your popcorn and chips and get a load of this Dutch romance

🎂 Year: 2021
💻 Online availability: Netflix and Pathé Thuis
⏰ Duration: 1h34m
⭐️ IMDB rating: 6.1/10

7. Simon — a sincere film about friendship and devotion  

It’s time to get those tissues out again, this one’s going to hurt!

Simon is a film about two friends who seem to be polar opposites. However, they eventually try to rekindle their relationship after one of them gets diagnosed with terminal cancer. 

If you’re looking for a story about homosexuality, companionship, and dealing with death, add this film to your watch list!

🎂 Year: 2004
💻 Online availability: Pathé Thuis
⏰ Duration: 1h42m
⭐️ IMDB rating: 7.8/10

8. Turks fruit — for those looking for a sweet and sensual romance

Whether you call it Turks fruit or Turkish delight (English title), you’re in for a passionate and (very) titillating experience.

Originally a book, Turks fruit is a very erotic love story between a sculping artist and a young woman.

Together, they set out on a romantic adventure with many hardships along the way. 

Make sure your kids are tucked up in bed when watching this one, you probably don’t want them to be sitting next to you!

🎂 Year: 1973
💻 Online availability: Only available on DVD (looks like you’re going to have to go old-fashioned with this one!)
⏰ Duration: 1h52m
⭐️ IMDB rating: 7.1/10

Dutch Comedy films 

Looking for some laughs? Check out these Dutch comedies that will definitely get those giegelen (giggles) out of your system! 

9. New Kids Turbo — for many laughs and local Dutch town drama

If you’re curious to see what a stereotypical group of small-town Dutch nincompoops do when they become unemployed, tune into this one!

Five Dutch friends decide to stop paying for anything (yes, even their TV subscription) and deal with adulthood like any kid would: by not acknowledging it. 🤪

Strap in for this movie because it’s a rollercoaster filled with dark humour, violence, and good ol’ nonsense.

🎂 Year: 2010
💻 Online availability: Videoland and Netflix
⏰ Duration: 1h27m
⭐️ IMDB rating: 6.4/10

10. Sint — a scary yet comedic twist on the Dutch Sinterklaas character

Heebie Jeebies! There’s nothing scarier than Saint Nicholas murdering a bunch of people during Sinterklaas. Okay, maybe there is…

This dark comedy reshapes the iconic Dutch figure Sinterklaas into a serial killer ghost who goes on a murderous rampage when the night of Sinterklaas coincides with a full moon. Classic Saint Nicholas, eh?

Sint is partially considered a horror film, but it’s definitely got a lot of funny elements!

It probably won’t make you quake in your boots, but it’s sure to make your belly hurt from laughing. Perhaps don’t let the kids watch it, though. 

🎂 Year: 2010
💻 Online availability: Apple TV and Pathé Thuis
⏰ Duration: 1h25m
⭐️ IMDB rating: 5.6/10

11. Flodder — a Dutch film filled with absurd humour 

What happens when a dysfunctional Dutch family lives in a wealthy neighbourhood? Let’s just say that things don’t really go as planned…

Flodder’s family moves to an upper-class neighbourhood as a social experiment. They find it pretty hard to adapt to their new surroundings, and soon everything goes off the rails. Surprise, surprise! 

While they seem antisocial, the Flodders never mean to inflict any violence!

The word Flodder actually translates to “blank cartridge” in Dutch, referring to the fact that the family is actually really harmless. 

This film will leave you laughing at the dysfunction that is the Flodder family. Though this story will also lift your spirits as the funny Flodders start growing on you. 

🎂 Year: 1986
💻 Online availability: Videoland
⏰ Duration: 1h51m
⭐️ IMDB rating: 6.6/10

Have you watched any of these movies before? What did you think of it? Tell us in the comments below! 

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2022, and was fully updated in December 2023 for your reading pleasure. 

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Lea Shamaa 🇺🇸🇱🇧
Lea Shamaa 🇺🇸🇱🇧
Lea has a passion for writing and sharing new ideas with the world. She enjoys film photography, Wes Anderson movies, fictional books and jazz music. She came to the Netherlands in 2019 for her media studies and has fallen in love with the country and its culture ever since. She loves to ride her bicycle in the city but also feels the need to overtake everyone on the bike lane (she's working on it).

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