The effect is intended to be ghastly – which it certainly is – but I was equally repelled by this film’s conceit. Oppenheimer allows murderous thugs free rein to preen their atrocities, and then fobs it all off as some kind of exalted art thing. This is more than an aesthetic crime; it’s a moral crime.
Universal acclaim- based on 59 Ratings
Sep 11, 2013Going into The Act of Killing I expected to be shocked and appalled and I was but not for the reasons I imagined. A fearless look at a group of people alive today and their inner most thoughts about a dark time in Indonesian history. The kicker? These people are monsters and director Joshua Oppenheimer is unfortunately giving them a voice. The film follows Oppenheimer as he interviews a group of Indonesian death squad executioners responsible for the mass communist genocide that took place in 1965, a horrific period in Indonesian history carried out by these so called subjects. The film is crass and lacks any kind of remorse as it ridicules the children of those who died, shows the wonderful lives that these killers now have and glorifies an action that took over a million lives. The Act of Killing is a disgraceful picture designed to disturb as to inspire action. However Oppenheimer must know the futility of his struggle and the inevitability of his failure so his creation of this rubbish only serves to entertain his interviewees. Not only does the film give them a pulpit to shout out their propaganda but it also treats it all as alright, a necessary evil. The Act of Killing breaks the cardinal rule of documentary film making, it doesn't have anything in it worth telling the rest of the world, it doesn't have a purpose beyond mocking the dead.… Full Review »
Jan 16, 2014The Act of Killing has some of the most horrific things humans can do to each other but in the end what was the point? All these men are still walking free and no punishments have be taken against them. The movie just revisits the past without dealing with the now. As a movie, its too long and has an ending that is unintentionally funny.… Full Review »
Sep 8, 2013This movie is a great documentary. Disturbing and surreal in equal measure. Watching these psychopaths brag about their atrocities makes me upset, But this movie is about a lot more than the genocide that occurred in 1965. It shows how America has contributed to these murders through culture and financial aid. Exposed as well is the amount of corruption and political oppression around every turn in Indonesia.
To the person who gave a negative review: a documentary is supposed show the truth. I am surmising the best way for the filmmaker to have these murderers open up like this was to to make them believe that they were being celebrated in a way. Since this documentary gave you such a strong reaction proves that it is excellent. If you can't look at the truth you shouldn't watch a movie like this and give it a 2. I thought your observations were spot on but I guess you can't handle the truth as Jack Nicholson once said.… Full Review »