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De geheime dienst

Documentary, 2004, 104 min.

In two episodes (The Red Menace and The Dutch Disease), directors Vos and Van der Hout present a detailed portrait of the Dutch Secret Service (BVD, precursor of the AIVD) during the Cold War. The makers link together many talking-head interviews with proponents and opponents. Usually media-shy Secret Service agents tell their stories; for the first time, `observation films' are shown: shaky black-and-white footage of tailed people. Archive footage provides a historical context. The makers also interview a CIA agent, a Stasi agent and `victims': in the first part chiefly members of the Dutch Communist Party, in the second of the peace movement. Made anonymous, an infiltrator even talks about his communist career, which took him to Mao Zedong. Also featuring: BVD agents on the payroll of the CIA, GDR funds for the `Stop the Neutron Bomb' action, and communist parties run by the BVD. In the process, a comprehensive story emerges of an institute that in 1989, with the collapse of the Wall, unexpectedly saw its raison d'être vanish.

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