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Water and Fire is a reconstruction of the tempestuous life of the Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe. On 27 February 1933 the 24-year-old bricklayer was arrested in the burning Reichstag in Berlin. A dubious trial ensued. Although in Leiden he was known as a militant communist, at the trial he was a tragic figure who remained silent with his head bowed most of the time. The mysterious fire was the first step towards the coup that would result in Nazi Germany, there were soon rumours. Did Van der Lubbe work for the Nazis or was he opposing the rise of Nazism? Using recordings of the trial, film fragments, songs, photos, diary fragments and conversations with some contemporaries who are still alive, the film tells a story juxtaposing reality, fiction, truth and lies.