The Act of Killing
September 1, 2012 6:03 AM Subscribe
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates (41 comments total)
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"The Act of Killing
is about killers who have won, and the sort of society they have built. Unlike ageing Nazis or Rwandan génocidaires, Anwar Congo and his friends have not been forced by history to admit they participated in crimes against humanity. Instead, they have written their own triumphant history, becoming role models for millions of young paramilitaries."
"When the government of Indonesia was overthrown by the military in 1965, Anwar and his friends were promoted from small-time gangsters who sold movie theatre tickets on the black market to death squad leaders. They helped the army kill more than one million alleged communists, ethnic Chinese, and intellectuals in less than a year. As the executioner for the most notorious death squad in his city, Anwar himself killed hundreds of people with his own hands.
Today, Anwar is revered as a founding father of a right-wing paramilitary organization that grew out of the death squads. The organization is so powerful that its leaders include government ministers, and they are happy to boast about everything from corruption and election rigging to acts of genocide.
In The Act of Killing, Anwar and his friends agree to tell the filmmakers the story of the killings. But their idea of being in a movie is not to provide testimony for a documentary: they want to star in the kind of films they most love from their days scalping tickets at the cinemas. The filmmakers seize this opportunity to expose how a regime that was founded on crimes against humanity, yet has never been held accountable, would project itself into history. And so the filmmakers challenge Anwar and his friends to develop fiction scenes about their experience of the killings, adapted to their favorite film genres – gangster, western, musical. They write the scripts. They play themselves. And they play their victims." - Wikipedia
The Act of Killing is a new film by Joshua Oppenheimer. It was produced by Errol Morris.