The Act of Killing 2012 MA15+

6.00PM Wed 21 Jul 2021 (2hrs 46mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free

SYNOPSIS

The Act of Killing is a controversial documentary like no other. Executive produced by Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, the film follows unrepentant former members of Indonesian death squads who are challenged to re-enact some of their many murders in the style of the American movies they love. Through musical numbers, film noir gangster scenes and other film genres, the documentary delves shockingly into the imagination of mass murderers.

Joshua Oppenheimer and Christine Cynn set out to document the stories of survivors of 1966-65 mass killings in Indonesia. The perpetrators of these massacres are unpunished, still walking the streets and have rewritten their own version of history to be hailed as national heroes. Cynn and Oppenheimer encountered many barriers to filming the survivors from police arrest to intervention by an NGO headed by a former massacre leader. The documentarians chose a radical departure from the usual non-fiction style of filmmaking. Instead turning the camera on the criminals to acknowledge the past, starring in a re-creation of events playing themselves and their victims. The re-enactments blend fictional filmmaking styles with searing factual confessions, a gripping conflict between moral imagination and moral catastrophe.

Joshua Oppenheimer went on to make a companion documentary to The Act of Killing entitled The Look of Silence 2014 which engages closely with the story of survivors, taking care to protect their anonymity. The Look of Silence is screening Wed 25 Aug 7.40pm + Sun 29 Aug 2.45pm.

MA15+ | Strong themes

CREDITS

DCP, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 166 MINUTES, INDONESIA, INDONESIAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTORS: JOSHUA OPPENHEIMER, CHRISTINE CYNN / PRODUCERS:  SIGNE BYRGE SØRENSEN, ANNE KÖHNCKE, MICHAEL UWEMEDIMO / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: CARLOS ARANGO DE MONTIS, LARS SKREE / CAST: ANWAR CONGO, HERMAN KOTO, SYAMSUL ARIFIN / EDITORS: NIELS PAGH ANDERSEN, JANUS BILLESKOV JANSEN, MARIKO MONTPETIT, CHARLOTTE MUNCH BENGTSEN, ARIADNA FATJÓ-VILAS MESTRE / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT