»I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade.« That is not just anyone‘s statement about THE ACT OF KILLING, but notably that of the maker of extreme films, Werner Herzog. After screening a rough cut of Joshua Oppenheimer‘s film, he offered to join the project as a producer, as did his renowned colleague, Errol Morris.THE ACT OF KILLING is indeed a unique experience: the film attempts to recapitulate and come to terms with the mass slaughter of alleged communists in Indonesia in the mid-1960s after Suharto‘s military coup – by encouraging the former killers to re-stage their actions in front of the camera. One of them re-enacts his murders in the outfit of a 1970s blaxploitation movie pimp, another one gets in action in women‘s attire. The productions become progressively lavish and absurd. The perpetrators lack any sense of remorse – as people continue to celebrate them as national heroes. Showing images that leave viewers stunned and disconcerted, THE ACT OF KILLING is a testament to the fact that history is written by the victors.
The Act of Killing
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Selected filmography Joshua Oppenheimer
THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE (1998) THE GLOBALISATION TAPES (2003), THE LOOK OF SILENCE (2014)