Nor did they need to, with a professional film maker like Oppenheimer in house. You are eager to show me what you have done. As Anwar Congo and his friends talk about the filming and the crimes they committed, Oppenheimer lets his camera roll, recording the content of the conversation and in doing so, also captures their extraordinary personalities, creating an enthralling cinematic show to present to the audiences. How did you want to portray him? I realised the story was not what happened in , but rather what is happening now, in the present, that means these men feel comfortable boasting about their crimes. Herman who also loves the film checks in on Anwar regularly, too. Tearfully, he told me that the film showed honestly what he knew the film would show, what he had tried to show in the film.
A fat gangster called Herman Koto appears repeatedly in drag, sometimes in a tight pink dress, sometimes in a costume recalling an extravagant Brazilian mardi gras. It is hard not to sense a betrayal here. I asked him if he wanted to see the film, and he said no, that it would be too hard for him. The sense of manipulation is all the stronger in those scenes that present the second story. Obviously, nobody had ever said they were criminals. Oppenheimer films the PP leader, Yapto, as an accomplished capo who can be suave or coarse as required. Did Congo really think nothing of vomiting in front of the camera, under studio lights, and walking away as if the camera were not there?
The people were scared to talk about it but suggested that we interview the killers, saying that they would be happy — even proud — to speak to me. Congo and his gilm plan a film about their exploits inand The Act of Killing is interspersed with both excerpts from the finished film and scenes of prior discussion and preparation for the filming. Despite persistent indications that he is mentally disturbed, and that he and his friends are boasting for the sake of creating shock, the film presents their claims without critique.
Neither the plot nor the structure of this film-within-a-film is ever made clear.
The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer – video dailymotion
An estimatedto one million people were killed, which led to the elimination of the Indonesian Communist Party PKI as a political force, which at the time was the third-largest Communist party in the world. I realised the story was not what happened inbut rather what is happening now, in the present, that means these men feel comfortable boasting about their crimes. He told me that he was afraid human rights people might see the film and come after him. The pleasure that Congo and his friends take in the memory of cruelty makes The Act of Killing a difficult film to watch.
How did you want to portray him?
I smiled for him. I will always remain loyal to our film. Go ahead and show me. It is a joyful, cathartic laugh. Some scenes resemble the American gangster films that Congo tells us he used to watch; some are more like the modern Indonesian horror-fantasy genre, complete with supernatural beings. We assume that perpetrators are normally held to account, or at least defeated, like the Nazis, the Khmer Rouge, the Hutu extremists.
Another PP leader proudly shows off his collection of expensive European kitsch. At a time when a growing body of detailed research on the killings has made clear that the army played a pivotal role in the massacres, The Act of Killing puts back on arasn agenda the Orientalist notion that Indonesians slaughtered each other with casual self-indulgence because they did not value human life.
As Anwar Congo and his friends talk about the filming and the crimes they committed, Oppenheimer lets his camera roll, recording the content of the conversation and in doing so, also captures their extraordinary personalities, creating an enthralling cinematic show to present to the audiences. What has the reaction to the film been like in Indonesia?
The justification and even aaminah of mass killings in the film seems like a sign that they feel no guilt, that they are inhuman.
He takes the film crew to the rooftop where he garrotted his aran with wire to avoid making a mess with blood. The core of the vilm consists of the reminiscences of an elderly gangster who took part in the massacres of Communists in I attach here an unsigned copy of the statement.
These repetitive and extended scenes do not contribute to the overall arc of the story and thus are deemed gratuitous.
He knows to be in touch if he receives any threats or sign of sminah. Filmed over several years in the North Sumatra capital, Medan, The Act of Killing is a sprawling work that encompasses three distinct, though related, stories.
You have said that one of the most moving scenes for Indonesians is near the end, when Anwar imagines his victims thanking him for killing them and sending them to heaven.
The incident seems staged. I write about the film for Guernica here. There is no voice-over in the film. He was older, so I asked amianh he had done for a living. As it says at the beginning of the film, Anwar and Herman and fiom others always knew they were only making scenes for my film, and were never making a film of their own.
He said it at a Pancasila Youth press conference that leaders of Pancasila Youth organised shortly after the film premiered at Toronto, before aminha film was available to Indonesian audiences, and before he saw it. On the contrary, crimes against humanity were being celebrated.
Although I often see Folm viewers crying to that scene, they are also laughing at the same time. So they write the script, and play themselves and their victims, to realise their own memories of their killings.
Herman who also loves the film checks in on Anwar regularly, too.