Winner of the 2014 BAFTA for best documentary and named the Guardian's best film of 2013, The Act of Killing is a chilling and inventive documentary that investigates how 500,000 Indonesians were murdered in the 1960s, at the hands of a government that is still in power.
Director Joshua Oppenheimer spent eight years working with survivors and perpetrators, challenging the unrepentant former members of the death squads to confront their crimes by re-enacting their murders in the style of the American movies they love.
Executive produced by Werner Herzog (Into the Abyss; Grizzly Man; Aguirre, the Wrath of God) and Errol Morris (The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line), the film has won several awards and has sparked a debate both in Indonesia, where the genocide and the need for reconciliation are for the first time being publicly debated, and in the US, where senators have been forced to acknowledge the complicity of the US in its backing of the military regime in Indonesia.
Jennifer Robinson, human rights lawyer and Director of Legal Advocacy at the Bertha Foundation, will give a talk to accompany the screening. She has provided legal assistance to activists from West Papua for over a decade and is a member of the Wikileaks legal team that defended Julian Assange.
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Read an article by the film's director Joshua Oppenheimer:
The Act of Killing has helped Indonesia reassess its past and present
Praise for The Act of Killing
If we are to transform Indonesia into the democracy it claims to be, citizens must recognise 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.
Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights
The most compelling thing you'll ever see
***** The Guardian
An utterly fascinating, chilling, but important film
***** Independent on Saturday
***** The Sunday Times ***** The Financial Times