Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer
2014 BAFTA Best Documentary film, ranked one of the Top 10 films of 2013 by The Guardian, UK
‘I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade… unprecedented in the history of cinema’
– Werner Herzog
‘Like all great documentaries, The Act of Killing demands another way of looking at reality. It starts as a dreamscape, an attempt to allow the perpetrators to reenact what they did, and then something truly amazing happens. The dream dissolves into nightmare and then into bitter reality. An amazing and impressive film’
– Errol Morris
Considered one of the most ethically challenging documentaries to have been produced in recent history, ‘The Act of Killing’ tells the harrowing story of the thousands who died in Indonesia in 1965 as part of an anti-Communist purge. Anwar Congo and his friends re-enact the violence they perpetrated on the innocent, their use of Hollywood and popular Indonesian musical genre to re-tell their crimes creating an uncomfortable sense of fiction and distance from reality. These once theatre ticket sellers who became gangster death-squad leaders lead us on a personal journey, carefully orchestrated by director Joshua Oppenheimer. Over several months, Oppenheimer undertook extensive fieldwork across Indonesia in order to find, record and better reflect the tales of frail heroism that is controversially attached to local histories of genocide and reconciliation. Men like Anwar Congo are still feared to this day in Indonesia.
You can download the audio record of Teh’s Q&A section here.
San Art wishes to thank Joshua Oppenheimer for granting permission to screen ‘The Act of Killing’ as part of ‘Conscious Realities’.
David Teh participates in ‘Encounter’, a lecture series which is part of a large artistic endeavour called ‘Conscious Realities’, initiated and organized by San Art in partnership with Prince Claus Fund.