Return to the Hiding Place Movie Review


Hi friends! In case y’all haven’t noticed yet, I really enjoy and appreciate a good historical movie. And I have a new favorite: Return to the Hiding Place. Many know of the courage of Corrie ten Boom and her family in rescuing Jews during World War II, but few know of the intrepid Dutch Student Resistance, whom Miss ten Boom called her “teenage army.” This movie tells that incredible true story, introducing us to Hans Poley, Piet Hartog, Corrie ten Boom's niece Aty van Woerden, Frans van Hasselt, and other brave young members of the Resistance, in addition to Corrie, Betsie, and Opa ten Boom. 

Several great themes shine in this movie. 

One of my favorite parts is when Frans van Hasselt boldly declares, “This oath offers allegiance to Adolf Hitler and his kingdom on earth. My allegiance is to the kingdom… of heaven!”  

Another theme is how Christians should respond to a tyrannical government that is slaughtering God’s people. When is it right to disobey the authorities? And is it right to lie, steal, and kill to save lives? We see characters turn to Scripture to find these answers, and find peace in doing what they know to be God’s will. 

This story made me think of Jesus’ words in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Some 880 Jews found refuge in the ten Boom home during the Holocaust. Nearly all of them survived the war. But many of the Resistance workers died, willing to sacrifice their lives to save others. 

And finally, what I think is the most important message of all is that it was faith in Christ that motivated these people to give their all to rescue Jews, orphans, and others hunted down and persecuted by the Nazi regime. The hope of Heaven and the knowledge that they were following in the footsteps of their Master, Jesus Christ, spurred them on to resist the cruelty of Hitler and save lives, whatever the cost to themselves. 

I do want to give a caution for violence and upsetting content, particularly one especially heartbreaking part involving a little Jewish boy. The worst happens off-screen, but it’s still horrifying. (Read the Dove review here for a full content description). 

There are a few young couples whose budding relationships play a role in the movie, but it’s all very wholesome, nothing inappropriate. 

Thankfully, a bit of lighthearted humor is interspersed, and always the hope of Christ is communicated as characters testify of their abiding faith in Christ that carries them through these trials. 

This movie is one of the most intense and gripping I’ve ever seen. I love the costumes and sets, and found it truly riveting. But far more important than being simply an engaging movie, this a movie with a powerful message, all the more powerful because it really happened. Compared to Hans Poley’s book of the same name, it does appear the movie took a few creative liberties. But overall, it’s kept accurate to the true story. Truly, the real story is so remarkable and inspiring that it doesn’t need any fictionalization! The director of the movie was inspired to make it after meeting the real Hans Poley, and footage of Mr. Poley during the credits adds an extra special touch. 

I think this is a story with an important message for everyone, but especially for us young people. It challenges us to think of how we would respond in the same situations and to consider how we can live fully for the Lord now and prepare for harder times in the future. 

I probably don’t even need to say now that I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it! Go watch it, and always remember, “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it,” (1 Thess. 5:24). 

All for Him, 

Savannah Jane


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