Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama
100 min


Wrong, private Blockhead!

- The name's Twan Mortier, major!

Look, private Blockhead...

That way the wogs will get you!

You enter a shack, some

rice-eater by the door...

So what happens?

How should you do it?

They're next to the

door, so first?

He won't be calling

'Mardeka' any more.

Mardeka, sergeant!..

You put the stress wrong.

The time has come, men. We're on

our way to Indonesia.

At first you will be dazed by new

impressions and experiences.

Yet you should stop and think why

you are making this journey.

Why you soldiers are heading

for the tropics.

The farm hands from Wolvega.

The butcher's boy from Rotterdam.

The student from Utrecht.

A cross section of our people

and all their lives.

We come together

several months ago.

Civilians from all walks of life

who reported to barracks.

In the brief short time we have

spent in transit barracks...

...the first changes have taken place.

How do you spell 'Teun'?

- Teun...

T- E-...

'Rasa sayang, rasa sayang sayang '

'Oh that girl is so far away'

'Rasa sayang'

Can you see anything?

I can't see anything at all.

It can't be a water spirit,

you can't see them.

If you can't see it, how do you know

it's the water spirit?

You can't talk about spirits like that

You'll make Neneh Kombel angry.

Urug? I'm afraid.

Don't do that, Johan!

Neneh Kombel will get mad.

I saw it.

I saw it! I saw Neneh Kombel!

That's impossible. Neneh Kombel

is an ugly old woman.

She lives in the trees.

But I saw the spirit, with a beard.

How do we go back now?



- Urug!


Look, there! Rescue them quickly!

Rescue the children!

Don't talk guna-guna nonsense, Deppoh.

Go rescue them.

You stay in your room

all day, understood!

Don't set a foot outside!

That kampong boy has a bad

influence on you.

But Dad!

- I don't want to hear another word.

Don't play with the master's son or

go to the big house any more!

It gives you strange ideas.

Yes, Dad, but...

- I don't wan't to hear another word.

T- A-P-E...

- And that is?

Very good! And?

- R-I-C-E...

And that is?

- Rice!

Good, and then?


- Very good.

If you take the T from

tape, you get?

Tape... Ape!

Good. Write that down.

If you leave the R

off "Rice", you get?

What was that?

'Near or far, we'll always be brothers. '

Johan, what are you doing?

What did you say?

'Saya a looking at the bulan'

I don't understand.

You're a Dutchman, boy,

speak Dutch!

I'm looking at the moon, Dad.

- Moon...

Very good.

Go to sleep.

Sleep tight.


How did you know about Mer...

- Merdeka.

I was born there.

- Really?

I wonder what it'll be like?

The finest country in the world.

Nice people, delicious food...

All kinds of fruit, satay...

Pisang goreng...

- Pisang what?

That's fried banana.

- They eat that?

You will too, just wait.

It won't be easy, because

you don't get to enjoy the best...

.. of that beautiful country.

You will understand why you

have to defend our colony.

There was once a basis here...

A basis of justice, peace and order.

The Japanese invasion and

their abuse...

...radically destroyed this basis.


Watch out, snipers!


Up there!

Indonesia merdeka!

Finest country in the world!

Fried banana!

Pisang goreng!

I hope we've arranged everything.

You have somewhere to stay?

I think I have written everything down.

I wish you all the best, goodbye.


- Johan.


A lot has happened.

Eight years is a long time.

How long have you been out...

...of the concentration camp?

- I was never in a camp.

I thought the Japs interned everyone.

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Trevor Griffiths

Trevor Griffiths (born 4 April 1935, Ancoats, Manchester), is an English dramatist. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Oeroeg" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Jan. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/oeroeg_15096>.

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