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ACT OF KILLING, The

Denmark / Norway / UK, 2012 (MIFF 2013, Documentaries)

Director: Anonymous,Christine Cynn,Joshua Oppenheimer

"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


See also...

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ENGLISH SURGEON, THE

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TEARS OF GAZA

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LIVE FROM BRITAIN

A critique of post 1979 Britain, Live From Britain explores the ideological construction of "the future" and of "tradition" in the maintanence of bourgeois hegemony. Rituals of popular culture, toys, ... More »

THE LEADER, HIS DRIVER, & THE DRIVER'S WIFE

A black comedy about the white right in South Africa. The Leader, His Driver and The Driver's Wife, examines issues of white racism from the oblique angle of the innocent documentary maker abroad. Acc... More »

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