Beautiful Holland

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Promotional film from 1915 commissioned by the Dutch Tourism Office, showing the beauty of Dutch landscapes and traditional occupations of its inhabitants.


This promotional documentary aimed at strengthening Dutch national pride. It featured a very traditional image of the Netherlands as a country living close to nature and with a community attached to traditional lifestyles. The film showed an unchanging world, completely unaffected by the war that raged so close to its borders. The film can be seen as a very clear political statement about the value of maintaining neutrality and preserving a 'unique' Dutch way of life in a rapidly changing world. Beautiful Holland was the first film that the Dutch authorities commissioned from Willy Mullens, by then already firmly established as a documentary filmmaker. His other films showed different aspects of Dutch life, such as economical and social, as well as its natural habitat. His most famous film, Holland neutraal made him a national filmmaker. His films, with more or less overtly propagandist content, became an important part of Dutch self-fashioning in the war years.