Detroit Film Theatre


Sunday, August 18, 2013

4:30 PM Detroit Film Theatre

(UK/Denmark/Norway/2012—directed by Joshua Oppenheimer)

With this startlingly innovative documentary, American director Josh Oppenheimer culminates a decade of dangerous investigation and filming of a seemingly impossible subject: Indonesian death squad leaders of the mid-1960s – many of whom are still in power today and are celebrated as heroes, talking with pride and pleasure about their involvement in murder. To prod them to speak openly about what they did and how they feel about it, Oppenheimer encouraged the men to “reenact” their real-life killings in the style of the American gangster movies they love, complete with sets, costumes, extras and even the occasional musical number. The hallucinatory result is a cinematic fever dream, an unsettling and incredibly surprising journey deep into the imaginations and thought-processes of mass-murderers and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit. Shaking audiences at the 2012 Toronto and Telluride Film Festivals – and winning the Audience Award at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival – The Act of Killing is an unprecedented work that, according to The Los Angeles Times, “could well change how you view the documentary form.” (116 min.)

“I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal and frightening in at least a decade… it is unprecedented in the history of cinema.” –Werner Herzog

««««! Every frame is astonishing. The best movie of the 2012 Toronto Film Festival.” –Catherine Shoard, The Guardian (UK) 
“A bombshell... essential and enraging. Never before has anyone made a documentary like The Act of Killing.” –Peter Debruge, Variety