[SECTION 3] Cold War Theater / October 14th?19th

The Act of Killing

Denmark/Norway/United Kingdom, 2012, 159min, Color, HD

Joshua Oppenheimer

Cinema has traditionally been dominated by films about good versus evil, the good fighting against the bad. However, the good and the bad only exist in stories. In reality, every evil act in history has been committed by human beings like ourselves. In The Act of Killing, I ask you to see a part of yourself in Anwar. Empathizing with a killer does not mean empathizing any less with the victims. The moment you identify, however fleetingly, with Anwar, you will feel, viscerally, that the world is not divided into the good and the bad?and, more troublingly, that we are all much closer to the perpetrators than we would like to believe. What does it mean to have a past? How do we create our reality through storytelling? And how, as a crucial part of this, do we use storytelling to escape from our most bitter and indigestible truths?
Born in 1974. Joshua Oppenheimer graduated from Harvard. He directed award-winning documentaries and shorts including The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase (1997) and Land of Enchantment (2001). The Act of Killing won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (Panorama) at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2013.