"Powerful, surreal and frightening … unprecedented in the history of cinema." – Werner Herzog
In this bizarre and unsettling film, Joshua Oppenheimer presents a chilling picture of a land where mass murderers are celebrated on TV talk shows as heroes. It sounds like a fiction but it's not: the film's subjects – small-time gangsters (themselves ardent fans of film and pop culture) who became death-squad leaders during the anti-Communist purges following the 1965 Indonesian military coup – were never punished; instead they took power and have become role models applauded for their actions, allowing Oppenheimer the remarkable opportunity to film them gleefully re-enacting their kills in an increasingly elaborate and high-budget film of their own. Playing themselves and their victims, they are forced to confront their actions for the first time.
Produced over nearly a decade, with late help from Errol Morris (Tabloid, MIFF 2011) and Werner Herzog (Into the Abyss, MIFF 2012), The Act of Killing is a richly compelling look at the fictions inherent in truth and the truth found within fiction.
"Unforgettable, unmissable, horribly brilliant ... almost every frame is astonishing." – The Guardian
D Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn, Anonymous P Signe Byrge Sørensen, Joram Ten Brink, Anne Köhncke, Michael Uwemedimo, Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn, Anonymous Dist Madman Entertainment L Indonesian, English w/English subtitles TD DCP/2012