De Bezette Stad

Experimental documentary by Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave) about Amsterdam during the war years, based on footage shot during the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on ATLAS VAN EEN BEZETTE STAD by Bianca Stigter.

Please note that this film is in Dutch, without subtitles.
Time & Tickets

The past collides with our present in Steve McQueen’s audacious documentary. For hours, the English director and artist goes from door to door in contemporary Amsterdam, while Carice van Houten’s restrained voice-over describes, address by address, what happened during the Second World War at each address. The film includes neither archive footage nor interviews, but devotes time and attention to individual stories of resistance, betrayal, courage and looking the other way, painting a picture of a stratified society that still influences the present.

Ghosts of the past find echoes and contrasts in the current inhabitants – and unanticipatedly in the empty streets, furious demonstrations and large-scale police deployment during the Covid era, in which the film was shot. And in the Holocaust and slavery memorials, which were also unveiled precisely during this period. They are Amsterdam monuments of historic significance – something which can also be said of the documentary itself. (source:

Steve McQueen, UK, Netherlands, USA, 2023, 266 min. Dutch spoken, without subtitles.