ⓘ Nova Zembla (film)


ⓘ Nova Zembla (film)

Nova Zembla is a 2011 Dutch historical drama film directed by Reinout Oerlemans. It is the first Dutch feature film in 3D.

The film describes the last journey of Willem Barentsz and Jacob van Heemskerk through 1596–1597 when they and their crew tried to discover the Northeast Passage to the Indies. However, due to the sea ice, they are stranded on the island of Novaya Zemlya and have to spend the winter there in Het Behouden Huys The Safe Home. The story is told through the eyes of Gerrit de Veer, and is loosely based on a diary he published in 1598 after his safe return. Gerrit is portrayed as having a relationship with Catharina Plancius, the daughter of the astronomer, cartographer and reverend Petrus Plancius, who pioneered the concept of the North East passage to reach the Indies. The Novaya Zemlya effect, first described by De Veer, is shown in the film, albeit in a non-historical fashion.


1. Cast

  • Derek de Lint as Willem Barentsz
  • Doutzen Kroes as Catharina Plancius
  • Victor Reinier as Jacob van Heemskerk
  • Robert de Hoog as Gerrit de Veer
  • Semmy Schilt as Claes
  • Jan Decleir as Petrus Plancius

2. Filming locations

The film was filmed on location in Iceland, Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands. The scenes set in Amsterdam were filmed in Brugge, in English Bruges.


3. Critical response

According to Variety, the screenplay was "too light on historical background and character development," while the movie was "coming off as a technically competent but narratively uninvolving History Channel-like reenactment." The acting was considered "weak."