The Good Terrorist

World-premiere F:ACT AWARD Competition, CPH:DOX 2019


Martyrdom was his ultimate goal. And so he, Jason Walters, felt at home in the Taliban training camp in the jungle of Pakistan. More than he ever did growing up, as a kid in The Netherlands. Surrounded by kalasjnikovs and hand grenades, makarovs and detonators he knew: something is alive here, that has died in the West long ago.

As young men, Jason Walters and Nouredine El Fahtni are members of the Dutch terrorist organisation Hofstadgroep. A group that is held responsible for the murder on filmmaker Theo van Gogh, several death threats and plotting terrorist attacks. In The Good Terrorist, renowned filmmaker Robert Oey interviews Walters and El Fahtni, who share their story on screen for the very first time. The Good Terrorist explores the world behind muslim terrorism. From the first steps towards radicalization to the imprisonment on a terrorism ward in a high security prison.

For the first time Jason Walters and Nouredine El Fahtni go on camera to talk about their past. Unique interview material shows the process of radicalization of young boys – who sometimes find their way back to normal life. Prominent experts and scholars shine their light on one of the most complicated questions of our time. What moves a terrorist?

Reviews (Dutch)


  • On the 6th of November, THE GOOD TERRORIST (Robert Oey, 2019) will be broadcast at 22:55 on NPO 2. In this documentary, focus lies on the question whether a convicted terrorist can de-radicalize....

  • In The Good Terrorist,renowned filmmaker Robert Oey investigates the world of muslim terrorism and questions the attitude of the West, concerning its own homegrown terrorism. As young men, Jason Walters and Nouredine El Fahtni are members of the extremist Dutch Hofstadgroep, a group held responsible......


Robert Oey

Robert Oey(1966) studied English, Modern History and American Studies at the University of Amsterdam. After receiving his master degrees he starts working for various feature film productions, such as the international co-productions Not Mozartand The Baby of Maconby British film director Peter Greenaway. In 1995 Oey is assigned to write a documentary scenario on the sixties in the Netherlands. Between 1997 and 1999 he does research for several documentary filmmakers. In 1999 Oey produces and directs his first feature length documentary: Giftig(Toxic). In 2004 Wonderland is broadcast by the Dutch public broadcaster VPRO. It’s both a personal and political account of growing up in the Netherlands in the seventies and eighties. In 2006 Oey directs De Zwemmers (The Swimmers), a documentary on the visitors of a swimming pool in Amsterdam. In 2008 Oey directs a documentary series titled Safety First, about the stringent safety measures taken by governments and airlines to safeguard the lives of passengers and personnel. Safety First is shown at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). In 2007 Oey photographs the making of the first creole opera Le Mariage Lenglensou, an opera performed in rural villages in Haiti. His photographs are exhibited in the Institut Français in Port-au-Prince and appears in the Dutch weekly Vrij Nederland. In 2009 Oey starts filming De Leugen (The Lie), a musical documentary on a politicial affair concerning the alleged lies of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Hirsi Ali is a former Somalian refugee who was granted citizenship in the Netherlands, became a Member of Parliament and who eventually left the Netherlands for the USA. The Liewas released in September 2010. According to the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant The Lieis ‘must see cinema’. In 2012 Gesneuveld (Fallen) premiers at the Dutch Film Festival. The film tells the stories of the next of kin of the 25 Dutch servicemen who lost their lives in Afghanistan. In 2014 Oey is commissioned to direct a documentary on what is called by many both the most expensive and most useless weapons system ever to have been developed: the Joint Strike Fighter. Today we’re Buying an Airplanehad a cinema release in the Netherlands. The Mission,about the UN involvement in the West-African country Mali, was Oey’s next feature length documentary. The Good Terrorist is his last film film.


Director: Robert Oey.

Camera: Rogier den Boer, Reinier van Brummelen and Robert Oey.

Sound: Tim van Peppen, Mike van der Sluijs and Maaik Krijgsman.

Editing: Chris van Oers.

Sound Design: Giel van Geloven.

Music: Lex van Delden and Reyn Ouwehand.

Producer: Frank van den Engel, Zeppers Film.