The Act of Killing (2012)

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The Act of Killing (2012)

Postby Pandora » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:10 am


A documentary which revisits the mass killings committed by executioner Anwar Congo against "communists" in Indonesia in 1965.
What makes this movie unique is that these acts of extortion, torture, rape and murder were never punished, not even openly condemned. Quite the opposite happened in this case, the paramiliary groups (the gangsters) who were involved in these killings are still seen as national heroes. (This also reminds me of the west' reluctance to help the victims of pol pot's genocide b/c of vietnam's presence in the region, pointing to the notion that human lives only seem to matter when it suits one's political goals).

The whole movie has a very uneasy and surreal feel about it and at times you're not even sure if all of is just an act. Or maybe not. Which makes it even scarier, because acknowledging that it might be all true after all, and these are the kind of people who actually came to power, is pretty shocking indeed. And the examples of this are, sadly, numerous. Simple human mind used as a devastating weapon.

This movie does touch on some philosophical points, such as the idea of human rights, value of human life, and conscience, and it points out that these ideas are very arbitrary in politics, and history. Who should have human rights? What is the value of human life dependent on? Should we feel conscientious about killing certain people? Are gangsters and extortionists that much different from bureaucracies and whole nations?

??/10. I'm really not even sure how to rate this documentary. Just coming up with such an idea for this film is beyond any ordinary imagination, in my opinion. Very surreal.
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