Killing part 2: The Look of Silence

Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence is a stunning companion piece, or possibly narrative development, to that extraordinary 2012 documentary The Act Of Killing. Its enigmatic title may indicate the numb silence which is the only possibly reaction to a certain kind of savagery and inhumanity, but perhaps mean the way that a nation sees but not see, sees in such a selective and slanted way as to suppress meaning, sees in such a way as to smother dissent into silence.

The Act of Killing showed Oppenheimer tracking down the grinning, ageing members of the Indonesian civilian militia who with the tacit approval of the army and government carried out the wholesale slaughter of a million suspected communists after the 1965 Suharto coup; sensationally, Oppenheimer persuaded them to re-act their crimes in the styles of their favourite movies.

The Independent

 

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