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The Act of Killing
Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn ডেনমার্ক, 2012
What makes the three-hour-long The Act Of Killing disturbing and yet engaging is the way the story is told… The film asks [the killers] to re-enact their homicidal practices for the camera, and pushes the blood-drunk further into the realm of phantasmagoria, complete with musical numbers and horror soap operas. The effect is like watching two murderers in a confession box at an asylum.
February 11, 2016
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
Oppenheimer calls his film “a documentary of the imagination.” I’d call it a brilliant intervention, and it’s no accident that two other pioneering interveners, Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, executive produced both The Act of Killing and Oppenheimer’s upcoming companion piece, The Look of Silence.
June 24, 2015
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
While Oppenheimer’s film has been praised for its self-reflexive demonstration of cinema’s tortured relationship with truth – self-reflexivity having long ago been elevated as the hallmark of cinematic sophistication – its meta-cinematic gestures in fact serve the opposite purpose, underscoring the deceptions of fiction film in order to valorize the naive documentary image.
September 01, 2014
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
Having suffered through the 169-minute “director’s cut” of The Act of Killing twice, I find it hard to avoid the conclusion that the media’s validation of mass murderers and relative lack of interest in their victims is by now too well ingrained in our cultural reflexes to be irrelevant to the appeal of Oppenheimer’s film.
December 15, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
The Act of Killing feels neither like a confessional nor a historical film, and more like an intellectual exercise, one seemingly constructed for Western viewers who have had scant knowledge of the events that took place in Indonesia almost fifty years ago… Ultimately this strong, perplexing film is more about performance than history.
November 25, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
There is eliminated any sense of distance between the past and the present, past participants and a new era of images, guilt, victimization, and complicity… Yet never for a minute can we forget the horrible crimes these men are guilty of, and which they revel in, which re-invests the hackneyed-blasé attempts at “staging” an unclarified muddle of memories/history/revisonism/critique/fantasy with the most sinister implications.
November 03, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
In the vigorous pursuit of a seeming greater good, logic can lead inexorably to delusion – this is one of the uncomfortably simple truths at the center of Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, a startling documentary that dares to dig out the roots of humanity behind heinous genocide.
October 17, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
While The Act of Killing packs a visceral wallop, it’s equally draining psychologically. Listening to these old men fondly remember stories of mass suffering is almost too difficult, especially considering their paramilitary organization is still one of the strongest in modern Indonesia. Oppenheimer’s formal approach stays focused despite the unsettling subject matter. It’s this directorial patience that makes The Act of Killing… such an essential cinematic treatise on the banality of evil.
August 14, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
The visual and aural rhythms of this one feel as if Oppenheimer is slowly, carefully climbing a mountain of lament and shame, each footfall made with absolute certainty that there’s solid, (if jagged and painful) rock underneath. When we arrive at the top, the view is majestic in its sadness. From this vantage point, the last half hour of “The Act of Killing” surveys a divinely art directed stretch of hell.
July 19, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
The cumulative impact is devastating, and very far from a simple Western condemnation of another country’s brutality. In forcing viewers to hear the boasts of genocide’s perpetrators, “The Act of Killing” puts a harsh spotlight on all celebrations of bloodshed, from Hollywood to the op-ed pages.
July 19, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
The Act of Killing subverts the conventional ways of documenting evidence of persecution; it imagines a daunting, performative new method for the representation of barbaric massacre, as its playful title insinuates.
July 18, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
The Act Of Killing never loses sight of its core subject. As Congo becomes more and more comfortable around him, Oppenheimer begins dropping in questions about guilt and accountability; whether Congo feels remorse becomes the central mystery of the film. By tackling one man’s sense of right and wrong (or lack thereof), Oppenheimer is ultimately tackling human nature.
July 18, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
[The cinematic vision of Congo and others from the military] turns out to contain aspects of comedy (one big bully seizes every chance to squeeze into outrageously tight gowns and feather headdresses that might have seemed excessive to Divine) and even hallucinogenic beauty. In a recurrent and haunting scene, a gigantic prop… disgorges a procession of lovely, brightly costumed dancers swaying against a candy-colored, tropical dream landscape.
July 18, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
The movie risks coming off like a tsk-tsking compendium of Third World clichés. Fortunately, Oppenheimer keeps the film focused on the highly complicated Anwar—a charismatic devil if ever there was one—observing as this strange reckoning with the past slowly breaks down his defenses. The emotional places this troubling movie takes him to are rewardingly primal and potent, forcing both subject and viewer to wrestle with internal demons.
July 16, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
If the content of these reportorial scenes knocks you off balance, their formal disjunction with the gangsters’ micro-movies is equally unsettling. Contrasts such as these are the engine that drives The Act of Killing, and Oppenheimer works them hard… The whiplash effect is so frequent, and so much a part of the film’s structure, that it’s shocking when consistency erupts.
July 14, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
…A wide-eyed plunge into the legacy of totalitarian bloodshed that’s just as fantastically oblivious and self-obsessed as Hollywood itself. The Act of Killing is never less than stylistically self-conscious—a late and lavish reenactment of the burning of a village is suddenly shot by Oppenheimer in gritty, camp-free terms, and the impact is chilling.
July 11, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
THE ACT OF KILLING is an elusive piece on non-fiction that slips in and out of several realms at once: a conventional doc view of a country whose chaotic government openly colludes with thugs, at times a darkly comic look at the close familial bond of Anwar and his men, and finally a chilling look at how the brutal logic of violence reverberates out into personal, national, and global consequences.
April 19, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
What follows is even stranger, more unsettling, more weirdly operatic than it sounds. The Act of Killing raises many questions about the ethical boundaries of documentary, the role of the director as puppeteer, and the possibilities of art-making as catharsis, all worth arguing over deep into the night.
March 20, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
History, regret and the power of cinema collide headfirst, resulting in a tour of the psychopathic mind-set that’s beyond chilling.
March 19, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
Staging acts of murder and torture alongside strange musical numbers and random bits of western- and noir-tinged scenes, the subjects craft some moments of harrowing surrealism, the sequences of men slaughtering innocents, setting villages ablaze, and lopping off heads given a hallucinatory vividness by the alternating tones of smoky dread and wacked-out pageantry.
March 16, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
The Act of Killing is about the horrific past that warped and still rules Indonesia’s present, but it’s also about the stories we all construct so we can live with ourselves.
March 12, 2013
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
By providing these thugs with an opportunity to fictionalize their exploits the filmmakers tap into the same ethical deficit the military junta initially exploited. The resulting confusion between a fictive self and the reality of his crimes proves, in Congo’s case, to be his undoing. Resolving in this unambiguous moral victory,The Act of Killing tells us a lot about the kind of truth we can discover through film.
December 01, 2012
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
Should we be treating the deaths of one million people as the occasion for these antics? And to what degree are these men being enabled in order to pull a sick-joke stunt? The tension is part of what makes Killing a compulsive experience. Stick around to the end, and then decide.
September 11, 2012
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
It is arguable that neither of these venerated directors [producers Werner Herzog and Errol Morris] has ever made a film this unnerving, and while this definitely has something to do with Oppenheimer’s patience, guile, opportunism and curiosity (all equally valid documentary tools), it seems more a simple fact of his subjects’ unique pathologies.
September 09, 2012
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন
Oppenheimer’s moving, horrifying, ethically problematic film couldn’t possibly have higher stakes. A testament: one of the producers and co-directors, and most of the Indonesian production staff, are listed in the credits as “Anonymous.”
September 09, 2012
সম্পূর্ণ আর্টিকেল পড়ুন