The Act of Killing

March 26, 6:30pm - 9:30am
Mānoa Campus, Center for Korean Studies Add to Calendar

The Act of Killing
Denmark (2012, 122 min)
Indonesian w/English subtitles

Directors: Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn, Anonymous
Music: Elin Øyen Vister
Cinematography: Anonymous, Carlos Arango de Montis, Lars Skree
Cast: Anwar Congo, Herman Koto, Adi Zulkadry, and many others

Early in “The Act of Killing,” Joshua Oppenheimer’s startling new documentary about mass murder and impunity in Indonesia, a death squad leader named Anwar Congo, dapper in white pants and a lime-green shirt, demonstrates how he strangled hundreds of people with wire. It was quicker and less messy than beating them to death, he explains matter-of-factly, then breaks into a dance routine, performing the cha cha cha for the camera.

“The Act of Killing” is crammed with unsettlingly bizarre moments like that, blending the horrific and the absurd in a disturbing cocktail.

Mr. Oppenheimer’s film is also stirring controversy because of its unorthodox form. Re-enactments are always a source of disagreement in the documentary world, but Mr. Oppenheimer has taken that longstanding debate to a new level by encouraging the perpetrators of human rights abuses to restage their crimes, on film and for a global audience.

-Larry Rohter, NY Times

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Free and open to the public

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Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Mānoa Campus

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