The documentary that asks former Indonesian death squad members to re-enact their mass-killings in all forms of creative and lavish manner – from Hollywood dance numbers to film noir gangster shoot-outs – is as vibrant and as harrowing as audiences could imagine.
When the government of Indonesia was overthrown in 1965, Anwar Congo and his amateur black market colleagues were made death squad leaders. They helped find and murder over one million alleged communists.
With such a brutal subject matter told in frightening depth, cleverly juxtaposed with the ridiculous re-enactments, The Act of Killing is a monumental documentary.
Directors Joshua Oppenheimer and Christine Cynn capture the story with intensity. Viewers won’t be able to look away. (TW)
Limited release nationally.
BY TOM WILSON