De Oost

2020, 137 minutes

Young soldier Johan goes to the Dutch East Indies in 1946 to defeat ‘Japanese puppet’ Sukarno. Coming under the spell of merciless captain Westerling, his sense of right and wrong starts to blur. Fantastically performed, visually breathtaking drama about the Indonesian war of independence, directed by Jim Taihuttu.

Johan de Vries has come to the Dutch East Indies to help people. Because, he’s told, peace has not yet returned with the Japanese defeat alone. First the Japanese puppet Sukarno must be defeated, then the country can become peaceful and prosperous again, as it was under Dutch colonial rule before the war. Like a sergeant assures him: the inhabitants ‘have to get rid of the arrogant idea that these monkeys can rule the country themselves’.

When Johan is taken under the wings of charismatic captain Raymond Westerling, he descends deeper and deeper into a moral abyss. Is Westerling a fearless hero or an unscrupulous war criminal? How far is Johan willing to follow him? And does he have a choice? Impressive war drama with beautiful acting by Martijn Lakemeier (Johan) and Marwan Kenzari (Westerling).


Democracy and politics, Family, Identity, War and armed conflict
Suitable for
havo/vwo - bovenbouw
mbo - entree
mbo - niveau 1 & 2
mbo - niveau 3 & 4
Jim Taihuttu
Country of production
Netherlands, The, Indonesia
137 minutes
Age rating
16 angst geweld grof taalgebruik