Skip to main content

Cinema Documentary Commentary & Motivation

Wijk bij Duurstede, 18 february 2024

Directed by Jelmar Hoekstra

The story of the Unifil mission in Lebanon, also known as the "forgotten mission",

grabbed me the first time I read about it. Many of the soldiers, who were often conscripts, had no idea what they were up against. They had seen recruitment commercials on TV that showed soldiers surfing in Lebanon and they thought it was going to be all right. Nothing was further from the truth. They literally found themselves in a hornet's nest of a complicated conflict that even the diplomats and journalists of the time didn't immediately understand.

The Netherlands was an ally of Israel, but the Unifil soldiers who were there noticed very little of that. They were often shot at in the area they were in, both by Israeli troops and by their allies and enemies on the other side. As a result, many of the boys came back with a lot of baggage that they still carry with them to this day; care and aftercare was something that the Ministry of Defence did not spend much time on in that era. In addition, it was the time of the flower power movement and they were often still considered to be dirty when they returned home. With the current tensions between Israel and Hamas, and the involvement of Hezbollah in the conflict, many veterans have a renewed sense of purpose and are eager to share their stories. It is therefore fitting that this documentary should be made now, as a tribute to the mission it contributes to, but also to help in the process of coming to terms with it.

1 toelichting 11 toelichting 21 toelichting 3


During the 1982 Israeli invasion, Cor Aalbregt was the company commander of Charlie Company. They literally waltzed through his area, which caused tension, dangerous situations and trauma for a number of the men who served under him. Cor was a responsible captain who was not afraid of anything and, by being alert and in communication, probably prevented a lot of suffering.

Charlie Company Dutchbatt was a special unit. Special because it was one of the last few units where most personnel were conscripts. Also special because the company had to deal with three completely different periods during its deployment: the first months as a buffer force, followed by the Israeli invasion, and then a period of possible alternative deployment and humanitarian aid.

2 toelichting 12 toelichting 22 toelichting 3


It was love at first sight. Beirut wouldn't let her go after Daisy arrived in early 2002 to learn Arabic for a few months. Then things moved fast as the people, culture and history of other countries in the region also stole her heart. Wherever she went, Daisy covered stories - the invasion of Iraq, the Arab Spring, the war in Syria, the demonstrations in Iran - and she never left.

Daisy studied journalism in London, specialising in the Middle East. Even at that early stage, she was curious about what made the people of the region tick. What Daisy hoped to do was to bring the Arab world closer, to build a bridge. The human story is what particularly appeals to her.

At first she wrote stories for newspapers and magazines, and soon Daisy started working as a producer for Dutch and international broadcasters.

"I worked on documentaries and news stories that went all over the world, preparing, researching and sometimes directing. To come from behind the scenes in late 2019, after so many years, to tell the story myself as a multimedia correspondent at NOS, is an honour."

3 toelichting 13 toelichting 23 toelichting 3

A donation of any amount is still welcome and can be made to the account number below.

'In the service of peace crowdfunding project'
NL71 ABNA 0118 7463 91  in the name of  VVL VETERANEN LIBANON