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Steve McQueen’s

Opens Monday, December 25

1:00   4:00   6:00

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From 1940-1945, Nazis occupied the magnificent city of Amsterdam, which suffered mass deportations, collaborators, a general strike uprising, and a crippling blockade that resulted in the “Hunger Winter” famine of 1944-45. Informed by historian/filmmaker Bianca Stigter’s Atlas of an Occupied City, Amsterdam 1940-1945, OCCUPIED CITY is a monumental excavation of the city’s wartime history. Eschewing the conventions of World War II documentaries (interviews, archival footage, photographs), Academy Award-winner Steve McQueen (12 YEARS A SLAVE) presents only contemporary footage of the city, along with hauntingly matter-of-fact narration, to trace the effects of the occupation on human lives block by block, address by address. Shot during the early days of COVID, McQueen captures a city under its first curfew since the war and beset by protests of the government’s handling of the pandemic, climate change, and racial injustice. His audacious approach evokes how the history of atrocities — as well as acts of heroism — hover over the freedoms of modern citizens. 

2023     262 MIN. (including 15-min. intermission)     UK     IN ENGLISH     A24


“The documentary is heroic in scope and ambition…With formal rigor and adamant focus, it maps — street by street, address by address — the catastrophe that befell Amsterdam’s Jewish population in World War II.”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“Essential…this is vital cinema. With one eye on the not-so-distant past and the other on our precarious future.”
– Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“An entirely fresh, provocative and soul-shaking film. Peering into the liminal place where history’s ghosts linger, McQueen stirs up something more complex than emotion.”
– Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter



Opens Friday, December 25

Film Forum