"End of the Line"  

“What drives seven heavily-armed Ambonese teenagers to hijacking a passenger train in the country that used to be their colonizer and, during next thirteen days, killing its passengers one by one?”

 A feature film based on the first train hijacking in the Netherlands by South Moluccan youths in 1975.


110 minute feature film – social drama

A social drama set in 1975, during the first terrorist action in the Netherlands, when a group of seven young Moluccans hijack a Dutch passenger train and take 33 people hostage.

ELI is a 19-year-old boy of south Moluccan decent. Nearly 25 years ago, his family was shipped from Indonesia to the Netherlands, because his father was a soldier in the Dutch colonial army. When Indonesia became independent, the Dutch government, fearing reprisals, decided to bring these soldiers (and many other Moluccans who had sympathized with the Dutch) to the Netherlands, where they were “temporarily” housed in former WW-II concentration camps.

Now (in 1975), ELI’s family and many others are still patiently waiting for the Dutch government to return them, as promised, to their beloved South Moluccan islands. Although he is born in the Netherlands, ELI has little or no Dutch friends and his future seems to hold very little promise. Ever since he was born, he continually has been confronted with the frustration of his parents, betrayed by the government they supported. In order to escape his hopeless future, ELI and six other boys (17-20) hijack a train. The train comes to a dead stop and the first victim is made almost immediately: the train engineer is killed in a stupid accident. Then, as the Dutch government refuses to respond in any way to the simple demands of the hijackers, ELI and his friends start killing the passengers. But killing turns out to be a lot more difficult than he had anticipated and it is not an easy task for the religious boy. Still, when they continue to be ignored, he manages to clumsily kill four more passengers.

When the news of the killings reaches the families of the hijackers, their reactions are surprisingly mixed. Eli’s FATHER (47), who is very strict and runs his family like a small platoon, has a very clear opinion: he is strongly opposed to his son’s dishonorable actions. Eli’s younger sister MARIAN (12), however, defends her brother vigorously. After a big fight she flees the parental working-class house. Wanting to help her big brother in any way she can, she somehow successfully crosses the police and army lines. While ELI struggles inside the train with the impossible situation he finds himself in, MARIAN hides between soldiers who have taken up position around the train. In the chaos that follows another accident in the train, she manages to sneak inside.

At that moment, after twelve long days on the train, ELI hears of his father’s condemnation. He is shocked and extremely confused, as the reason behind the hijacking now seems to evaporate into thin air. To add to his confusion, he finds out that the passengers have gradually become sympathetic to their cause (the Stockholm syndrome). Used to being treated like a dimwit by the Dutch, the passengers’ trust gives him a reason to end the hijacking. But when they all surrender the next day, it absolutely feels as if they’ve lost.

Later, ELI hangs himself in his prison cell, not realizing that, in the long run, their action did provide the South Moluccans with a place of their own within Dutch society...