Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
June 12, 2024
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The Liberators

A Picton resident who emigrated from Holland 30 years ago stars in a film about the liberation of Holland
<p>Merrickville served as the backdrop for The Liberation Men, a period film about the liberation of Holland. (Kolo Productions)</p>
Merrickville served as the backdrop for The Liberation Men, a period film about the liberation of Holland. (Kolo Productions)

Emma Brummelhuis stars in The Liberation Men as a resistance fighter loosely based on Truus van Lier.  The made-in-Ontario feature-length fictional drama charts events in the Netherlands in spring 1945, as advancing Canadian soldiers and the Dutch resistance link up to liberate a village.

Shot in Merrickville and the surrounding areas in 2023, Producer Danny Crossman of Kolo Productions said the film explores “the sacrifices, bravery, and camaraderie of these soldiers and Dutch resistance members as they navigate the challenges of war, both on and off the battlefield.”

County resident Emma Brummelhuis plays Lotte in The Liberation Men, a feature length drama about the liberation of a Dutch town in the spring of 1945. (Kolo Productions)

In her role as a freedom fighter, Ms. Brummelhuis connected the stories told by her mother of Nazi oppression with the freeing of Holland by the Canadian Allies in the spring of 1945.

Ms. Brummelhuis auditioned for the role of Lotte thanks to a lead from a former Dutch Canadian social organization based in Ottawa. 

“There is no question there was an emotional pang reading the script,” she told the Gazette


“I lived in the east, very close to the town of Zwolle,
which is the featured town in the film.
We were liberated by the Canadian Allied forces.”

Emma Brummelhuis

“Both my parents were youngsters during the war and although my father did not speak about it, my mother, being an actress herself, made sure that we were well informed about what took place.”

The efforts of the Allied armies to push the Nazi scourge back across the Rhine were not lost on the Dutch. Ms. Brummelhuis said the liberation is part of the school curriculum.

“I lived in the east, very close to the town of Zwolle, which is the featured town in the film. We were mostly liberated by the Canadian Allied forces.”

The actor said it was important to her to show a new generation of Canadians what their grandparents and great grandparents did in a country so far removed from their own. “Without thought for their own safety, they volunteered to fight overseas to liberate us.”

The story follows both the approaching Canadian forces, who moved from town to town, clearing out the Germans, and the resistance, which fought behind the lines to subvert the German  invaders. 

“I have not seen the film in its entirety, so I know it is going to be a very emotional affair seeing it for the first time,” said Ms. Brummelhuis.

The Liberation Men made its debut at Ottawa’s Mayfair Theatre on April 28. The film screens in Kingston and Smith’s Falls on Liberation Day, May 5. 

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 18 edition of The Picton Gazette
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