leonie, actress and spy

(leonie, actrice en spionne)
85’  black/white and colour

lonie brandt was an actress who used her talent in the thirties and forties to become a brilliant double agent and after the war was able to weave an inextricable web of intrigues and mysteries.

leonie brandt (1901-1978) dreamed of becoming an actress. after realizing her dream she took on the role of her life: she became a spy for the dutch intelligence service in nazi germany. after the war a number of prominent dutchmen also feared leonie for what she knew about their actions during the occupation. the film more or less follows the chronology of her astonishing life via scenes from old movies. shrouded in a haze of mystery the ‘real’ or ‘fictional’ of her life is not always clear.

with: cas enklaar, martijn van der veen
and: fien de la mar, asta nielsen, francesca bertini, lyda borelli, pola negri, charlotte köhler, annie van ees, louis de bree, cees laseur
voice of leonie: rifka lodeizen

script, filmresearch: annette apon
camera: peter brugman
sound: fokke van saane
editing: jan ketelaars
sound design: huibert boon
image post-production: loods lux & lumen
music: harry de wit
junior producer: hugo naber
producer: digna sinke for sng film  www.sngfilm.nl
distribution: rieks hadders/mokum filmdistributie

dvd available (dutch spoken, english subtitles)
order at:  www.sngfilm.nl

world premiere international film festival rotterdam 2020

international filmmor women’s film festival, Istanbul
nederlands filmfestival competitie
boca raton jewish film festival
it’s all true, int. documentary film festival
rasnov film and histories festival
argentina festival internacional de cine político
warsaw jewish film festival

One of the most memorable films of the IFFR. (Hyperallergic)

The use of feature film fragments and staging is a great counterpoint to the fact that so little can be substantiated historically. (NRC Handelsblad) ★★★★

Little by little you get an idea of ​​a strong-willed, adventurous woman who performed clever spy tricks, but was also deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp. Some events remain a mystery, something that only increases the enjoyment of her story..(Trouw) ★★★★

How do you make a documentary about the life of a woman of whom there is not a scrap of moving image to be found? The solutions introduced by the renowned Dutch film and documentary maker Annette Apon are undoubtedly ingenious. (De Volkskrant)

Apon also puts a lot of sense of freedom and independence in her consideration of Leonie’s actions. (Cinemagazine.nl)

Drawings were made from feature films (Eye archive), made in the time of her ‘prime’ (interbellum), full of characters who play men and sometimes literally spy. That is much more than a makeshift. Together, this palette of women forms the ‘Leonie type’, while many scenes are spot on as illustrations of events in her life and give the documentary its own unique atmosphere. (De Groene)

category: docs