The Look of Silence (2014)

A family that survives the genocide in Indonesia confronts the men who killed one of their brothers.


The main person that this film follows is so brave. He knows he could possibly be hurt or killed and he still stares down all of these powerful politicians who have murdered in the past and puts them in a very uncomfortable position of having to try to explain what they had done and try to justify it in front of cameras.

The two films remind me of Claude Lanzmann in Shoah except the killers they are interviewing are still in power in their country. These people are uncovering dangerous truths and creating definitive historical documents on the subject. Both films are very powerful and moving and some the best films of this decade.

I do want to say that Oppenheimer was more successful in getting the killer's to talk in the other film because I think he probably knew how to manipulate them, most likely because he was a foreigner and had no family involved in the massacre. The killers in this film respond much more subtly but their responses still speak volumes. I found it amazing that the government representative resorts to thinly-veiled threats when he realizes the interview isn't going his way. If we were to see a politician doing this in America or Europe, that person would be called on to step down from his position.

3 years ago


Very interesting companion piece to The Act of Killing, this time showing things from "the side" of the victims. It's a more traditional documentary than its predecessor, which unfortunately makes it slightly less memorable, and since we're hearing much of the same shocking material again it doesn't have quite the same impact. I say that, but it's still extremely powerful and memorable. It just had a hell of an Act (pun intended) to follow. All told, another excellent film that will make you despair at what humanity is capable of (thankfully, countered by the tenderness between Adi and his elderly parents - who are the stars of the film by the way).

4 years ago


like a punch in the gut

4 years ago

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