Horrifying. Terrifying. The Act of Killing provides a glimpse into the mind of a seemingly brainwashed patriot. The unique perspective of people who have committed terrible atrocities was very disturbing and raw. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when watched this film; but prepare yourself for reflection if you choose to watch it. You will be forced to take a long, hard look at your neighbors.
A strong and not typical documentary, spliced with surreal psycho-moments to build a macabre atmosphere. A very strong ending, which shows the director breaking through his hero's psychological defense mechanism and coming to terms with the horror that has been committed. A film for the future.
Having seen a Look of Silence first I couldn't help feeling dissapointed watching this. The act of Killing is still compelling and as an idea it's incredible and revolutionary. Killing is more concentrated on an individual psychology of a mass murder and his understanding of it. Silence was more multifaceted and looked at the broader societal impact...it was also cinematically while being politically driven.
Very unnerving. I felt sick from start to finish, I couldn't believe how openly most of the killers spoke about what had happened with no remorse for their actions, some even proud and boastful. Unfortunately you can rewrite the perspective of history if you come out of it the 'winner'.
Hugely imaginative, and if it brings more awareness to these crimes, then great, but the actual film is somewhat tasteless, and in focusing so much on the killers, almost diminishes the crime somewhat, by denying the victims an equal voice. Yes, they are made to look worse, but it becomes a slightly self satisfied film about them, not the victims. Oppenheimer is a great formalist, but a somewhat troubling one.
"I did this to so many people, Josh. Is it all coming back to me?" Oppenheimer's jawdropping film raises such complex questions about evil, guilt, culpability, empathy, voyeurism, remorse, humanity, war, PTSD, groupthink, ego, morality, free will, psychology, psychopathy, sociology, tribalism, nationalism - and even documentary film making itself - that it's almost impossible to take it all in after a single viewing.