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Photo Cor Jaring / Stadsarchief Amsterdam



In Rebellious City the sixties come to life by means of archive material from Amsterdam and the Provo days that has never been shown before. The makers have tried to avoid the well-trodden paths by searching for material that has never been seen before rather than the standard archive pictures. The visuals researcher Gerard Nijssen has managed to find unique material in archives abroad and by going to many other unknown sources and private collections. Willy Lindwer had at his disposal an interview from 2001 with the anti-smoking magician Robert Jasper Grootveld held in 2001. This impressive material seems to be the very last interview with Grootveld for a film that was never made.



By collaborating closely with the Amsterdam City Archive the makers of Rebellious City had access to all 70,000 negatives of the Provo photographer Cor Jaring. The film shows photos by Jaring that have never been published before. Jaring’s archive was transferred to the City Archive after his death in November 2013. Willy Lindwer recorded a long interview with Jaring not long before he died. In the basement of Jaring’s studio his famous magic press helmet was found; he wore it during the “happenings” and the riots in Amsterdam. Jaring demonstrates his unique helmet in the film.



Many of the people still alive who played a leading part as icons of the Magic Centre Amsterdam come together in the documentary Rebellious City. This is the first time that such a first-hand picture of Provo and the sixties in Amsterdam is available. The makers managed to lure Provo political leader Bernhard de Vries back to the Netherlands for the film; he left Holland in 1967 and settled in Italy as an actor. He hardly ever appeared in public since his Provo days. There is a moving scene in the film between the once two opposites Roel van Duijn and Bernhard de Vries.


In 2015 it is fifty years ago that the protest movement Provo started to create havoc in Amsterdam. That was for the Dutch film maker Willy Lindwer the occasion to make Rebellious City. He worked on the film for three years.

4209-1 Provo's bij het Lieverdje 20-3-1966
Willy Lindwer about the film

“This period has a development set in motion which to this day reverberates and that in a broader sense and for myself, a revolution. This “soft” revolution immediately drew international interest and Amsterdam and Netherlands has a separate spot on the map. The period where I was in the film about tell, begins in 1955 when I saw the first Nagaraj on the nieuwendijk and ends in 1969 with the arrival of John Lennon and Yoko Ono to Amsterdam and the hippies on the Dam. Everything after that builds on the breeding ground that originated in the 1960s and in which the protest movement Provo.”


“The events, the players, their ideas and ideals, the playful and anarchism in the film. That is the choice that I made from when I had the idea to make this movie. A key aspect here is that I have experienced this story itself and politely. I’m born and raised in Amsterdam and grew up with Nagaraj, pleiners and the Dent, the anti-smoking magician Robert Jasper Grootveld and with Provo. It has shaped me. It was the period when I was in high school, near the Leidseplein, and then at the Film Academy in the city centre of Amsterdam.”


“By reliving this special period in the recent history of Netherlands and the lines to the present, I bring in the film my own childhood and my own revolution back to life. Like many contemporaries that time has shaped me. I was part of. I feel a rebel of that time and am remained one until today.”


- Willy Lindwer



Rebellious City shows how a small group of young people in the Amsterdam of the sixties with anarchic elan and playful actions the power from her tent lures, police and Mayor to despair, the youth have a voice and Netherlands for good changes. The protest generation creates a violent generation conflict. Provo is the mouthpiece of the desire for change. Rebellious city from the 1950s with beatniks, marijuana, Nagaraj, pleiners and dent and happenings to the revolutionary 1960s. The film includes unique film material from those years and let the period revived in which post-war freedom trials and young people try to get away from God and commandment of the generations before them. Provo existed only two years, but Netherlands was changed forever. Much of what we now take for granted began in those years.


Rebellious City tells the story of the great change in Dutch society. The arrival of the Beat generation and that of the protest generation gave rise to developments leading to irreversible processes in the Netherlands.

Rebellious City shows how a small group of young people in the Amsterdam of the Sixties provoked authority with anarchistic élan and happenings, drove the police and mayor to despair, gave young people their own voice and changed the Netherlands forever. The protest generation caused a generation conflict. Unintentionally, Provo became the mouthpiece of the desire for change. The documentary revives that period during which post-war youths were tired of being tied to the apron strings of the church, the authorities and their parents.

The film contains unique material from those decades and brings to life again the period in which post-war youngsters had a taste of freedom and freed themselves of the yoke of God and the Church of previous generations. Provo only flourished for two years but changed the Netherlands forever. Much of what we now take for granted has its roots in those years.

In Rebellious City, people like Roel van Duijn, Saar Stolk, Luud Schimmelpennink, Hans Metz, Bernhard de Vries, Irene van de Weetering, but also Robert Jasper Grootveld (who comes to life in a compelling interview never shown before), Cor Jaring, photographic chronicler of that era, along with trendsetters of the Sixties like Willem de Ridder, Phil Bloom, Simon Postuma and others talk about the creative, playful and inspiring Sixties and the rise and fall of the Provo Movement. In combination with unique archival footage, they talk about how in early 1965 the anarchist Roel van Duijn launched the Provo Movement with Rob Stolk, propagated Provo with anti-smoking activist Robert Jasper Grootveld, and turned Amsterdam into the magical centre of the world. Photographer Cor Jaring proudly shows off his press helmet with smoke screen and talks about how Amsterdam achieved mythical status thanks to his photographs. In the meantime, Willem de Ridder rides around Amsterdam with his Paper Konstellation and everything becomes Fluxus art. Former Provos describe their cat-and-mouse game and how they prepared their actions against the marriage of Princess Beatrix and Claus. With white plans, white clothes and playful provocations, Provo turned Amsterdam into the Magical Centre. In the end, Provo collapsed under its own success and differences. Bernhard de Vries was the first to become a Provo city councillor. Roel van Duijn wanted Provo to continue, but Rob Stolk and others disbanded Provo. Sex before marriage, nudity on TV, new politics, abstraction in art, protest against Vietnam. The Netherlands had left its placidity behind permanently.

Rebellious City is the first film to highlight the Provo movement from the inside and in this particular way. The promising young Amsterdam rock group The Silverfaces made the music for the film.


Willy Lindwer (Amsterdam, 1946) gained international recognition as a documentary maker with his film De Laatste Zeven Maanden van Anne Frank (The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank) which was awarded an International Emmy Award in the United States in 1988. In his own country he received a Golden Calf for Kind in Twee Werelden (Child in Two Worlds), a film about Jewish foster children in the war. In 2010 he was knighted Officer in the Order of Oranje Nassau for his entire film oeuvre.

regisseur Willy Lindwer
Curriculum Vitae of Willy Lindwer

Willy Lindwer (born 1946) gained international fame as a documentary filmmaker with the last seven months of Anne Frank. The film was in 1988 in the u.s. awarded an International Emmy Award. At home, he received a golden calf for child in two worlds, a film about Jewish war foster children. He was knighted in 2010 to officer of the order of Orange Nassau for his entire film oeuvre.


His first major film was a documentary about the wrong role of the Dutch police in occupying time (1970). The film dealt with a very sensitive issue for that time. In 1975 he made the film Amsterdam 700 Years that was shown in many countries. In the 70 ‘s and 80 ‘s he made a series of documentaries in Africa. For the NOS he produced in 1979 on the occasion of the Holland Festival the great ballet film Live-Life, 3 choreographers and a ballet. The film was awarded in the us. The documentary the Jews and their Mokum, the NOS in 1985 due to the 350 anniversary of the Jewish community. Between 1988 and present Lindwer made 20 major documentaries on the 2nd World War and a series of films about Israel. His production company AVA Productions in Amsterdam, focused on documentary series.


Willy Lindwer has also published a number of books based on his films: the last seven months of Anne Frank, Camp of hope and despair, testimonies of camp Westerbork, the fatal Dilemma, the Jewish Council of Amsterdam, 1941-1943.

Filmography Willy Lindwer

Nederlandse Politie in Bezettingstijd - Filmacademie, 1970

Amsterdam 700 Jaar - RNTV/NOS, 1975

Wat Hebben jullie met onze meisjes gedaan - KRO, 1977

Live, Life Drie Choreografen en een ballet (Nationaal Ballet) – NOS, 1979

De Gebroken Keten - 1981 RNTV/TROS

Ik kom uit de Mediene - NOS/JO1983

Met Siegfried van Praag terug naar Joods Amsterdam - JO1984

De Joden en Hun Mokum -NOS, 1985

Marek Edelman, Laatste held van het Ghetto van Warschau - EO, 1987

De Laatste Zeven Maanden van Anne Frank, BRT/TROS1988

De Revolutie van het Geneesmiddel - 50 jaar penicilline TROS 1990

Joodse Bruiloft in Bezettingstijd - TROS 1991

Fantasie in de Ban van de Werkelijkheid - RNTV/TROS, 1991

De Wannsee Conferentie – EO 1992

De Gebroken Cirkel - TROS 1992

Terug naar mijn Shtetl Delatyn, TROS 1992

Dagboek van de Laatste Helden - WDR/EO 1993

De Kleine Dingen – TROS 1993

Kind in Twee Werelden, Joodse Oorlogspleegkinderen -TROS 1993

Teddy Kollek, Van Wenen naar Jeruzalem – WDR/EO, 1994

Simon Wiesenthal, Vrijheid is geen geschenk van de Hemel – WDR/TROS 1994

Het Fatale Dilemma, De Joodse Raad van Amsterdam –  TROS 1995

Het Oorlogsweekjournaal – NCRV 1995

Kinderen van de Oorlog –  TROS 1995

Jeruzalem Tussen Hemel en Aarde – EO 1995

De Twintigste Eeuw in Beeld met Jeroen Krabbe - TROS/TELEAC 1996

Stuart Eizenstat De man achter de nazi-goud rapporten – TROS 1998

De Terugkeer, 100 jaar Zionisme, 50 jaar Israël – EO 1998

Yitzhak Rabin: Warrior-Peacemaker – Endemol/NCRV 1998

Zij Deden hun Plicht - TROS 2000

Miracle of Faith, 2000 jaar Christendom in het Heilige Land –  EO 2000

D’vekut, Chassidisme en Joodse Mystiek – EO 2000

Noodkreet in Stilzwijgen – EO, 2001

Empty Rooms, EO/Israël – TV 2002

De Tempelberg is van Mij – NCRV 1993

Holland Vaarwel (Goodbye Holland) – NCRV 2004

Africa Goes Digital – VN 2006

Mr. Israel, The Shimon Peres Story – NOS/EO 2008

Anna’s Stille Strijd – JO, 2009

Herinnering aan een vermoord kind – JO 2012

Manja, een leven achter onzichtbare tralies – 2013

Lonely but not Alone, the Story of Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo – 2014