Sisters Freddie and Truus Oversteegen along with Hanne Schaft weaponized what often makes women most vulnerable – their sexuality and femininity – to seduce and assassinate Nazi officers as part of the Dutch resistance during World War II. Freddie will be an experimental narrative short film, as seen through the eyes of Freddie, the youngest of these female resistance icons.
The story will unfold through slow, meditative pacing, intimate, extreme close-ups of small details, small gestures, and poetic storytelling structure. Shooting in 1940s period-appropriate cinematic 35mm film, with close attention to precise, heightened sound design to convey small details, the film will be designed to place viewers inside Freddie’s experiences. As Freddie meets and flirts with the Nazi officer she has been assigned to pursue, the viewer experiences embodiment through the close sound of her breath and heartbeats. Throughout the film we see each moment unfold in extreme close-ups of details – the setting, the officer’s eyes and mouth as he speaks. When Freddie finally leads the Nazi target to the forest to carry out the work of the resistance, the camera pulls back to an ultra-wide view. This shift in perspective represents her understanding of her role in the bigger picture of fighting the extermination of European Jews, Non-Jewish Poles, Soviet citizens, Afro-Germans, Roma, disabled, and queer people and others seen as “undesirable”. In interviews prior to her death, Oversteegen said she was never comfortable with being an assassin, but she was always confident she was working for the right cause.
An allegory for our current political era, rife with the normalization of white supremacy, disinformation campaigns, and threats to democracy and journalism, the film highlights a story of a group of bold young women who chose to resist instead of adapt, despite the possible personal consequences.