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.
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'.