GenreBiography, Drama, History Initial DVD releaseSeptember 15, 2009 (USA) Duration CountryCanada/France/Germany/Poland
CastMartin Freeman (Rembrandt van Rijn), Emily Holmes (Hendrickje), Michael Teigen (Carel Fabritius), Christopher Britton (Rombout Kemp), Agata Buzek (Titia Uylenburgh), Gerard Plunkett (Engelan) Similar moviesWoman in Distress, Rembrandt: From the National Gallery, London and Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Incognito, Genios de la pintura: Rembrandt
Nightwatching is a 2007 film about the artist Rembrandt and the creation of his painting The Night Watch. The film is directed by Peter Greenaway and stars Martin Freeman as Rembrandt, with Eva Birthistle as his wife Saskia van Uylenburg, Jodhi May as his lover Geertje Dircx, and Emily Holmes as his other lover Hendrickje Stoffels. Reinier van Brummelen is the director of photography. James Willcock, known for his esoteric sets, is the art director.
The film is described by co-producer Jean Labadie as "a return to the Greenaway of The Draughtsman's Contract." It features Greenaway's trademark neoclassical compositions and graphic sexuality. The music is by Włodek Pawlik. The film premiered in competition, at the Venice Film Festival.
Nightwatching is the first feature in Greenaway's film series "Dutch Masters". The following film in the series is Goltzius and the Pelican Company.
An associated work by the same director is the documentary film Rembrandt's J'Accuse (2008), in which Greenaway addresses 34 "mysteries" associated with the painting, illustrated by scenes from the drama.
Nightwatching 2007 opening scene
The film is centred on the creation of The Night Watch, Rembrandt's most famous work, depicting civilian militiamen who wanted to be celebrated in a group portrait. The film posits a conspiracy to murder within the musketeer regiment of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch, and suggests that Rembrandt may have immortalized a conspiracy theory using subtle allegory in his group portrait of the regiment, subverting what was to have been a highly prestigious commission for both painter and subject.
The film also depicts Rembrandt's personal life, and suggests he suffered serious consequences in later life as a result of the accusation contained in his most famous painting.