Off Screen (2005)

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March 11th, 2002. John R. takes the head of security and 17 others hostage in Amsterdam biggest skyscraper. John R. demands to speak with the Philips head of Sound&Vision. His goal is to ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Gerard Wesselinck
John Voerman
Astrid Joosten ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Theu Boermans ...
Leo Verkerk
Marjon Brandsma ...
Elly Voerman
Aat Ceelen ...
Colleague John
Chris Comvalius ...
Heleen Wagemakers
Sjoerd Dragtsma ...
Jongen in de bus
Turan Furat ...
Security guard
Janni Goslinga ...
Anna Voerman
Damien Hope ...
Youngster in bus
Robbie Kensmil ...
Security guard
Han Kerkhoffs ...
Driver of Mr. Wesselinck (as Han Kerckhof)
Emma Kuijpers ...
John's granddaughter
Stijn Kuijpers ...
John's grandson


March 11th, 2002. John R. takes the head of security and 17 others hostage in Amsterdam biggest skyscraper. John R. demands to speak with the Philips head of Sound&Vision. His goal is to warn people about a large-scale fraud, aimed at brainwashing consumers by means of widescreen TV sets. In the film, we find out about John's preliminary frustrations, his bizarre encounter with Philips head of Sound&Vision Gerard Wesselinck, their impossible friendship, rivalry and John's armed attempt to force the executive to do penance in public. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller



Official Sites:





Release Date:

3 February 2005 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Ektos eleghou  »

Box Office


€1,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Confusing, unsettling and strange
22 October 2005 | by (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

During this hostage-taking I worked at a News Broadcast station here in Amsterdam, and I remember how this was not a cut-and-dry very angry (or worried) customer thing, it was all pretty weird, and almost seemed like a setup or joke. Many things were left unclear in this hostage-case. This made me curious about what this movie would tell us that could have lead to this.

Basically it seems the story is warning us about PHILIPS (or companies with similar powers), which makes it all the more strange; Would a company this huge let a movie like this hit the theaters and stores worldwide? Presuming that PHILIPS knew about the movie beforehand, does this mean at least some of the facts are actually true? Was this just a bus-driver regretting the fact that he never was anything more than a bus-driver? We are to think this is not the case, because he really loved his job. Did he or did he not know more than he should have known? The facts show that he must have been very intelligent. Would a guy like that do a thing like this for something as insignificant as widescreen TV or was there more? Are we to understand that this PHILIPS CEO was not his friend, and was not with him when he shot himself? Or did the police find out that the gun he was using was a gift from this PHILIPS man, and that he handed his (ex-)wife that other present because they had really met the way we see in this story? I can't really say how you could do this movie or tell this story any better, but the matrix-like views of flashing through time are a bit over the top, and don't do much good for the switches to and from the hostage-taking scene. The casting for the story is really outstanding though. Perfect actors for the jobs at hand.

The movie leaves you with lots of unanswered questions and it is a bit unsettling because nothing is going in a satisfactory direction. There's no hope or dream to be found here. It doesn't have a happy ending in any way, shape or form, and it is almost too much like real life; Harsh, without purpose, unfair and full of coincidences that remain unexplained. Not a fun movie to watch, but one that you will remember due to all the vague references to reality.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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