Dutch film premiere protested over colonialist messages

A few dozen people demonstrated against the film Michiel de Ruyter at the film's premiere at the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam last night. The museum built a movie theater with 1,200 seats for the occasion.

The action group Michiel de Rover opposes the hero status of the seafarer (1607 - 1676). 15 former Marines held a counter-demonstration for their hero at the same time. The police managed to keep the two groups apart without much effort.

Michiel de Rover, with "Rover" meaning "robber," protested against the "glorification of a colonial sea villain". According to them, he was "the patron of the Dutch slave trade". The demonstrators stood with banners about a 100 meters from the entrance to the museum,where many famous Dutch people made an appearance. For 15 minutes they loudly demonstrated their dissatisfaction with the "worship of De Ruyter". "We are here because of that crap movie. Our story is not told in it, it does not talk about slavery." said one of the speakers.

Michiel de Ruyter founded the Marine Corps. about 350 years ago. "He definitely done some things linked to slavery commissioned by the then government", said a former marine. "But he also freed slaves." The former marines, who were also invited to the premiere, announced on Facebook that they would throw the protesters in the water. "That was a joke and we certainly do not plan to do it. But we want to enter into a dialogue with the protesters", said one of them.

The adventure film will be in cinemas from Thursday. Director Roel Reine made the film from a screenplay by Alex van Galen and Lars Boom. Frank Lamers plays Michiel de Ruyter.