Verhoeven Explores Colonialism With “Force”

Speaking with Dutch talk show Zomergasten via Slashfilm, “Total Recall” and “Showgirls” director Paul Verhoeven revealed that his next project will be a film adaptation of Louis Couperus’ anti-colonialism novel “The Hidden Force” penned back in 1900.

Set in Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) fifty years before the collapse of the Dutch colonial empire, the story follows an official named Van Oudyck and his disastrous attempts to impose Western rationalism and codes of behaviour to the Javanese culture which is steeped in the mystical and irrational.

Verhoeven adds that it’s about “rebellion against colonial rule, the emergence of fundamentalist Islam, the behavior between people, adultery and psychic powers.” He and Gerard Soeteman co-wrote the script adaptation and the film will be shot in Dutch rather than English. The project marks his first film since 2006’s “Black Book”.