It’s hard to talk about Joshua Oppenheimer’s last documentary, The Act of Killing. I don’t know that I’ve ever watched another movie with such slack jawed awe. Cameras follow former Indonesian death squad soldiers responsible for the slaughter of thousands of people as they reenact their crimes. It’s a surreal and haunting experience, scarring and powerful, and now it has a companion piece in Oppenheimer’s follow up The Look of Silence. The film made the rounds at the fall festivals last year, and now it has a trailer for you to check out if you missed it.
Here’s the synopsis:
The Look of Silence is Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to the Oscar-nominated The Act Of Killing. Through Oppenheimer’s footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of the killers. The documentary focuses on the youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, who decides to break the suffocating spell of submission and terror by doing something unimaginable in a society where the murderers remain in power: he confronts the men who killed his brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions. This unprecedented film initiates and bears witness to the collapse of fifty years of silence.
Drafthouse Films will release the Werner Herzog and Errol Morris produced The Look of Silence sometime this summer. Make sure you check it out when you get the chance, and until then, take a look at this trailer. Jesus, that last clip is chilling.