The Act of Killing, 2012

Film by Joshua Oppenheimer

Exploring the extremes of the human mind, Oppenheimer’s acclaimed film, which he describes as "a documentary of the imagination," earned him a European Film Award, a BAFTA and an Oscar nomination. More than merely documenting the atrocities committed by the film’s main protagonist Anwar Congo, the film highlights the impunity with which he—like the various political leaders who also appear—can flaunt his role in the persecution of communists in present-day Indonesia.

To demonstrate how the atrocities have been whitewashed, Oppenheimer takes the unusual step of inviting Congo and his companion Herman Koto to enthusiastically act out their deeds in several of their favorite film genres—war film, western, gangster movie and musical—with accompanying explanations of how the executions were inspired by Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and John Wayne. The title, then, refers not only to the act of murder itself but also to the acting out of the murders. (source: IDFA)

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