In the VOC commemoration year 2002, the Amsterdam Filmmuseum screened for the first time a large number of films from its vast collection of Netherlands East Indies films. In addition, four new compilation films, including Tabee, were presented. Using historical black-and-white footage from the period 1914-1945, an image is presented of the decline of this great colonial dominion, which was occupied by the Japanese in 1942. The film starts with the life of the first-class passengers on board the steamer from Holland to Batavia. The new batch of white settlers dances and dines and plays games; coloured people only appear as servants. Passing through places like Algiers and Port Said, the journey leads to Sumatra and Java. Over there, the scenery and streets, but also modern attainments like the postal services and trains are shown. A voice-over explains the slowly disintegrating Dutch rule, but just as often the images are self-explanatory, accompanied by music taken from the Filmmuseum's own 78 record collection.