SNEAK PREVIEW SCREENING: “THE ACT OF KILLING” followed by
a Q&A session with director Joshua Oppenheimer (Q&A in English and Japanese)
Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 6:00 pm*
*Please note early start time.
In Indonesian with English and Japanese subtitles
Denmark/ Norway/ UK, 2012 159 minutes (Director’s cut)
Directed by: Joshua Oppenheimer
Produced by: Signe Byrge Sørensen
Exec. producers: Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, Andre Singer, Joram Ten Brink
Film courtesy of Transformer
“If we are to transform Indonesia into the democracy it claims to be, citizens must recognize the terror and repression on which our contemporary history has been built. No film, or any other work of art for that matter, has done this more effectively than ‘The Act of Killing.’ [It] is essential viewing for us all.” - National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia
When he picked up his BAFTA for Best Documentary on February 18 in London, Joshua Oppenheimer charged the United States and the United Kingdom with "collective responsibility" for “participating in and ignoring” the crimes that he depicts in the most talked-about film of the past - or perhaps any - year. Even in a tux, Oppenheimer is a crusader.
“The Act of Killing” topped dozens of Best 10 lists for 2013, was nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar and has won over 50 major awards. On its debut, the film was met with immediate and global acclaim, instantly hailed as a masterpiece despite its surreal, disturbing approach. That approach has rewritten the rules of documentary film, reminding us of the educational, confrontational power of cinema. “Like all great documentary,” says Errol Morris, “’The Act of Killing’ demands another way of looking at reality.”
In 2001, while conducting interviews for their 2003 film “The Globalization Tapes,” Oppenheimer and Christine Cynn began delving into the Indonesian genocide of 1965-66, intending to craft a film about its toll on the survivors. Their plans changed when they met Anwar Congo. The former leader of a Pancasila Youth paramilitary death squad in Northern Sumatra, Anwar had executed hundreds of innocents, modeling his sadistic style after the gangsters he admired in classic Hollywood films. Anwar was charismatic, unapologetic, boastful and despite his crimes, a powerful, fêted community leader.
So Oppenheimer decided instead to explore what one critic calls “the psychological gestalt of a country in which mass-murderers brag about their slaughtering – and still intimidate their neighbors – with complete impunity.” By offering Anwar and his collaborator Adi Zulkadry the chance to reenact their atrocities in a variety of cinematic styles, Oppenheimer hoped to get beneath their skin, to probe for something deeper, to capture their conscience, to elicit a moral response. What he achieved is absolutely shattering.
Please join us for this sneak preview of the jaw-dropping, unmissable “The Act of Killing” before the film’s theatrical release in April at Image Forum and other theaters. The Japanese release version is 121 minutes.
JOSHUA OPPENHEIMER was raised in Texas, educated at Harvard and Central St Martins, London, and has worked for over a decade with militias, death squads and their victims to explore the relationship between political violence and the public imagination. His award-winning films include “The Globalization Tapes” (2003, co-directed with Christine Cynn), The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase” (1998), “These Places We’ve Learned to Call Home” (1996) and numerous shorts. He is currently completing “The Look Of Silence,” about a family of survivors who confront the men who murdered their son. Oppenheimer is Senior Researcher on the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Genocide and Genre project and has published widely on these themes.
Please make your reservations at the FCCJ Reception Desk (3211-3161) or register below. You may attend the Q&A session without attending the screening, but you will not have seating priority. Please reserve in advance, still & TV cameras inclusive.
All movie screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests.
- Movie Committee