The Act of Killing

Documentary | DK, NW, GB 2012 | 159' | Subtitled English

»I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade.« That is not just anyone’s statement about THE ACT OF KILLING, but notably that of the maker of extreme films, Werner Herzog. After screening a rough cut of Joshua Oppenheimer’s film, he offered to join the project as a producer, as did his renowned colleague, Errol Morris. THE ACT OF KILLING is indeed a unique experience: the film attempts to recapitulate and come to terms with the mass slaughter of alleged communists in Indonesia in the mid-1960s after Suharto’s military coup – by encouraging the former killers to re-stage their actions in front of the camera. One of them re-enacts his murders in the outfit of a 1970s blaxploitation movie pimp, another one gets in action in women’s attire. The productions become progressively lavish and absurd. The perpetrators lack any sense of remorse – as people continue to celebrate them as national heroes. Showing images that leave viewers stunned and disconcerted, THE ACT OF KILLING is a testament to the fact that history is written by the victors.

Producer
Signe Byrge Sørensen
Associate Producers
Joram ten Brink, Anne Köhncke, Michael Uwemedimo, Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn, Maria Kristensen, Lizzy Ratner
Executive Producers
Errol Morris, Werner Herzog, André Singer, Joram ten Brink, Torstein Grude, Bjarte Mørner Tveit
Director
Joshua Oppenheimer
Photography
Carlos Arango De Montis, Lars Skree
Editor
Niels Pagh Andersen, Janus Billeskov Jansen, Mariko Montpetit, Charlotte Munch Bengtsen, Ariadna Fatjó-Vilas Mestre
Sound Design
Gunn Tove Grønsberg, Henrik Gugge Garnov
Music
Elin Øyen Vister
Production Companies
Final Cut for Real/Novaya Zemlya/Piraya Film

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Selected filmography Joshua Oppenheimer

THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE (1998) THE GLOBALISATION TAPES (2003)