The Act of Killing (Director’s Cut)
Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Joshua Oppenheimer. 2012, 159 mins. Digital projection. In this formally inventive, deeply unsettling Academy Award-nominated film, director Joshua Oppenheimer exposes a contemporary Indonesian society formed from a brutal, harrowing, and still unexamined civil war. In a country where death squad leaders are still celebrated as heroes, flaunting and benefiting from their murderousness with impunity, Oppenheimer (along with collaborators who remained anonymous because of safety concerns) challenged these men to reenact their real-life atrocities via staged musical, action, comedy, and noir scenes. Their reckoning, or lack thereof, plays like a provocative fever-dream—albeit one punctured by the realization that many citizens remain terrorized by these aging wannabe thespians. “A bombshell, both for opening the world’s eyes to Indonesia’s recent bloody history and vis a vis the tradition of objective nonfiction filmmaking.”—Peter Debruge, Variety. Winner of three Cinema Eye Honors awards, including Best Nonfiction Feature.
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