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Wijster (2008)

An autobiographical account of the hijacking of a train by Maluku terrorists in 1975.


Paula van der Oest


Nicole Steggerda (screenplay), Ger Vaders (novel)


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Credited cast:
Jaap Spijkers Jaap Spijkers ... Rob
Roos Netjes ... Susan
Anniek Pheifer ... Cecile
Marlies Heuer Marlies Heuer ... Marijke
Lore Dijkman Lore Dijkman ... Monique
Gerson Oratmangoen ... Treinkaper Noes
Ambonwhena Aratuaman Ambonwhena Aratuaman ... Treinkaper Carlos
Joshua Timisela Joshua Timisela ... Treinkaper Leo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lard Adrian Lard Adrian ... Collega Cecile
Edda Barends Edda Barends ... Jacqueline
Rob Beker Rob Beker ... Sinterklaas
Ali Ben Horsting Ali Ben Horsting ... Maarten
Wim Bouwens Wim Bouwens ... Verslaggever
Luc Broekman Luc Broekman ... Opa
Rob Das Rob Das ... Wouter


2 December 1975. In the morning, sixteen-year-old Susan holds up her father, causing him to miss the intercity to work. Later that day she discovers he was in the slow train from Groningen to Zwolle, which has been hijacked by a group of young Moluccans... Written by Motel Films

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Drama | Thriller







Release Date:

29 May 2008 (Netherlands) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Motel Films See more »
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Did You Know?


On December 2, 1975, a train was hijacked by South Moluccan youths at Wijster. This was the first train hijacking in world history. There were three deaths: the machinist and two passengers were shot by the hijackers. After twelve days the hijackers surrendered. During their trial in 1976 they were sentenced to prison sentences of fourteen years. See more »


The train, correctly chosen from the period, wears a yellow bra, this should be a red one, as yellow bra's were introduced decades later.In railway language a bra is the metal cover for the Scharfenberg automatic coupler. See more »

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User Reviews

A retelling of the events at Wijster, from a Dutch point of view..
30 May 2008 | by ErnastoSee all my reviews

This is the first time a telefilm was made about the hostage situation at Wijster, The Netherlands. The people in the train near Wijster were taken hostage by South Moluccan young men, who were desperately seeking attention for their situation from the Dutch government and the world. The story is told from the perspective of a Dutch journalist Rob, who was taken hostage. The film starts with Rob being caught in the act by his daughter, who realizes he is having an affair with his colleague. Rob is married and has two daughters. He's not sure about his marriage and if this love affair has to continue. The next day he missed the train to work, so he has to wait for the next train, unfortunately it's the same train the young South Moluccan men choose to hijack. From the moment the people in the train are taking hostage, we see Rob slowly taking charge of the kidnapped men and women, and he develops some sort of connection with one of the hijackers Noes, even though Rob is one of the chosen few who almost gets killed by the hijackers.

The side story in this telefilm is that of Rob's daughter Suzanne, who discovers her father is one of the people on the train taking hostage. Along with Rob's colleague Cecile (with whom Rob's having an affair) manage to get close to the train and to see if Rob's still alive.

The film ends with "Hena Masa Waja", the national anthem of the Moluccans.

"Wijster" has a beautiful production design. The look and feel of the Netherlands in the 70's is faithfully reproduced. Great choices for cast and crew, who were correctly authentic. I've seen a British documentary on the Moluccan events in the 70's, and a big problem with that one was that the Moluccan people in the reconstructions were played by British Indian who didn't even spoke the Moluccan language.

The only downside to this telefilm is the protagonist. The hijacking by the South Moluccan young men is the background of the main story in this film, which is the relation between Rob and his daughter Suzanne. The hijacking should be the main focus the film, with the character Noes as the main protagonist. Here in the Netherlands, we know a lot about the Moluccan actions in the 70's. The downside to that is, that we in general don't know a lot about the reasons for these actions, and even less about the Moluccan situation on its own. The South Moluccans in The Netherlands and on the Moluccan Islands near Indonesia, wanted attention and help for their cause: free and independent Moluccan Islands. In the Dutch East Indies, the Moluccan men were in the front lines for the Dutch Colonial Army. They were amongst the Dutch East Indies most loyal to the Dutch Queen. Because of this, they asked for help in their aid to establish a free and sovereign Moluccan country.

In this, the Dutch government never gave the Moluccan people the answer and help they so desperately needed. And that's why the Moluccan actions in the 70's unfortunately happened.

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