Johan Ten Berghe joins the Dutch army when the Durtch East Indies unilaterally declare independence as Indonesia. He initiates his naive driver Twan in life in the East, having grown up ... See full summary »
Johan Ten Berghe joins the Dutch army when the Durtch East Indies unilaterally declare independence as Indonesia. He initiates his naive driver Twan in life in the East, having grown up there as son of colonial official Hendrik, now missing. Their adventures intertwine with Johan's childhood memories, especially concerning his native best friend, Oeroeg, who joined the rebellion, as well as their nanny and later de facto stepmother. Conflicting loyalties become tangible in extreme situations. Written by
This movie is a free adaptation of a novel by the well known Dutch author Hella Haase. A white Dutch boy and the son of an Indonesian servant grow up together. Later on, their lifes take different paths. When they meet again after many years, in the period of the Indonesian war of independence, their outlook has grown so different that they are not capable of finding a common language any more.
The movie - in which apart from Dutch a lot of Bahasa Indonesia is spoken - is impressive because of the magnificent Indonesian scenery. The acting by the Dutch and Indonesian actors is in general quite decent. Nevertheless, the movie fails to fulfill its promise.
In an effort to present a "politically correct", anti colonial point of view, quite a few scenes have been turned more into a caricature than into a realistic picture of the period concerned. It should have been possible to avoid this, as Hella Haase, in her considerably more subtle novel, did draw a much more equilibrated picture.
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