This film was sickening - it really shook me to my core, and I'm not sure I would ever want to watch it again. The juxtaposition of the scale of violence and the banality of the killers' tone while recounting their crimes makes it both impossible to comprehend and easily understandable. This is the evil that men do, without even batting an eye. This is the evil that the US supports, over and over again.
An astounding documentary, making historical pain more immediate (or "real") through pure incongruity and raising the cinema ethics question of who exploits who. Lest you think that this is tribute to the Power Of Movies, note that they clearly fall short and are also part of the problem. It would be absurd enough for comedy, which is one reason it's among the most unshakably mournful political films I've ever seen.
The endpoint for Anwar appears to be the reality of his actions finally hitting him in a private moment. Since he's human, this process is a messy emotional pinball game where he bounces between joy at actualizing his 'movie gangster' fantasy to fatigue from insomnia his nightmares bring him. In a way, Anwar is one of the few stages where reality is able to occur in this intensely ironic documentary.
fantasatic. besides all the socio-political implications that are riveting on their own, this film is a phenomenal exploration on morality, remorse and propaganda. each scene speaks to the audience on a myriad of levels. the moments of complete silence are simply magnificent and very powerful.
The film has a strong narrative and takes on a big issue. This enough is to make the film outstanding. However everything else falls too weak: the film glorifies its villians, the arc line of regretful killer feels artificial and the film does very kittle to say something of its own. It feels as if it relies solely on its shock effect for the entire 2 hours.
Compelling perspective. Yet this is a film made by outsiders--westerners--looking in. Perhaps this film could only be made by westerners shocked by history of genocide. The characters & even killings seem isolated in time and there's a reluctant pull towards empathy. Yet there's still a trace of judgment based on western morals, which undermines the project of portraying Anwar et al. in themselves, as real & human.
The most brutal portrait of cognitive dissonance on screen I can imagine. Left me physically shaking in the cinema. I really think people need to see the director's cut, however, as the shorter edit really loses some of the impact. A picture of Hell, both inner and outer. It also manages, I think, to cover every one of Bill Nichols' categories of documentary in one brilliant, grotesque, lurid, horribly sad swoop.