Michiel de Ruyter (2015): “The story is only told from the Dutch patriotic perspective.”

Michiel de Ruyter

“Michiel de Ruyter (2015) is a great film. I went to the movies with my grandpa who was eager to see this film. It’s just that not the entire story is being told. The story is only told from the Dutch patriotic perspective because they don’t talk about how they used to trade slaves in those times. In this film, they focus on how great those times were for the Netherlands. The same happens with our history books, that taught us the same thing. When I was younger I used to love hearing about this part of our history, but when I think about it, I notice that I’m more knowledgeable now. It’s making me question why this part of our history is still being told in this way and from our perspective only. It is kind of the same thing with news in, for example, the Western world versus Russia and or North Korea. They all look differently at each other with different perspectives, and they could all make each other seem like the bad guy and themselves as the good guy. But in essence, they could all just be hiding the bad. We only see the perception of the Western world and that’s the same way how we treat our history. When we only discuss it from our own perspective of how we would like to see it. I still believe that Michiel de Ruyter can be seen as a very beautiful film, but maybe it should have been highlighted from multiple perspectives. Nowadays you can see that some directors try to approach their films from various perspectives, but I feel that with this film it should have been mandatory. We shouldn’t be portraying that part of our history as we have been doing all along throughout my youth. As if it was a great time and that what we were doing was a good thing.”

Photo and story by Feargal Agard.