FROM Joshua Oppenheimer
'The Look of Silence' From 1965 to 1966, around a million people were killed in Indonesia. It was an anti-Communist purge mounted by the Army and supported secretly by the U.S. and Britain during the Cold War. Most of the victims were villagers who were rounded up and slaughtered. Indonesia has never accounted for the massacre. In fact, the killers remain heroes to this day. Joshua Oppenheimer spent time with those killers for his 2012 Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing. Now, he’s made a companion film from the victim’s point of view.
Making 'The Act of Killing' Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer spent over eight years making his Oscar nominated documentary The Act of Killing . In one of the most surreal films to hit theaters in years, Indonesian death squad leaders who carried out hundreds of murders during the "Communist" purge in the 1960's re-enact their crimes as if they're acting in a Hollywood movie. Oppenheimer talks with Kim Masters about how these elaborately staged re-enactments emerged naturally from interviews with the killers who bragged about how they killed. Although Oppenheimer's film didn't get a conventional theatrical release in Indonesia, he did mount a grassroots release that's resulted in thousands of screenings and has prompted the media in that country to break a long-held silence on this tragic history. Joshua Oppenheimer, courtesy of Drafthouse Films
Exploring the Nature of Evil in 'The Act of Killing' The Act of Killing is a documentary about the men who participated in Indonesia’s genocide in the 1960s. In one year, a million people were killed -- accused of being communist sympathizers by the new military dictatorship. Unlike Rwanda, Germany, or Bosnia -- the death squad leaders in Indonesia were never held accountable. In fact, they’re celebrated to this day. And - as you see in the film - they show few signs of remorse.That is -- until the filmmakers challenge the men - fans of Hollywood movies - to re-create what they did in their own amateur film. The result is a bizarre mix of film noir, cowboy movie and tropical musical with the death squad leaders playing themselves killing and torturing their victims. The Act of Killing opened last week in New York and today in Los Angeles.
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