In Bahasa Indonesia and English, English subtitles.
In this inspired and audacious documentary, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer invites veterans of the 60s death squads, who carried out reprisals against Indonesia’s communists, to re-enact their vilest actions for his camera. Still riding high on gangster celebrity and status, the old thugs comply readily, devising exultant action movie scenarios to represent their brutal supremacy over the wily communist scum. The spectacle is both grotesque and clarifying: a Hollywood template accommodates the banality of evil. Completed with the patronage of Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, veteran interrogators of the darkest hearts, The Act of Killing drives us into the thick of the violent trauma that continues to shadow life in the world’s fourth most populous land.