Walker Art Center

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The Act of Killing (Theatrical Version)

Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer

Part of Filmmakers in Conversation: Joshua Oppenheimer with The Act of Killing

“I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade. The Act of Killing is unprecedented in the history of cinema.” —Werner Herzog

In this chilling and inventive documentary, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer examines Indonesia’s communist purge of 1965, in which more than one million leftists, intellectuals, and ethnic Chinese were killed. Leaders of the death squads continue to be celebrated as heroes, and the director challenged them to reenact their real-life killings in the style of the American movies that inspired their methods. The result is a cinematic fever dream, an unsettling journey deep into the imaginations 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 an Audience Award at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, The Act of Killing is an unprecedented film that “could well change how you view the documentary form” (Los Angeles Times). Executive producers are Errol Morris and Werner Herzog. 2012, DCP, in Indonesian with English subtitles, 116 minutes. Opens August 2 at the Landmark Theatres.