THE ACT OF KILLING
by Joshua Oppenheimer
When the government of Indonesia was overthrown by the military in 1965, more than one million people w ere killed in less than a year. Anwar and his friends were promoted from ticket scalpers to death squad leaders, and Anwar killed hundreds of people with his own hands.
In The Act of Killing, Anwar and his friends agree to tell us the story of the killings. But their idea of being in a movie is not to provide testimony for a documentary: they want to be stars in their favourite film genres - gangster, western, musical. They write the scripts. They play themselves. And they play their victims.
The Act of Killing is a nightmarish vision - a journey into the memories and imaginations of the unrepentant perpetrators and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit.
Denmark, Norway, UK
Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer
Co-directors: Anonymous, Christine Cynn
Assistant Director: Anonymous
Produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen
Producers: Joram ten Brink & Anonymous, Christine Cynn, Anne Köhncke, Joshua Oppenheimer, Michael Uwemedimo
Executive Producers: Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, André Singer, Joram ten Brink, Torstein Grude, Bjarte Mørner Tveit
Cinematographers: Carlos Arango de Montis ADFC, Lars Skree, Anonymous
Editors: Niels Pagh Andersen, Janus Billeskov Jansen, Mariko Montpetit, Ariadna Fatjo-Vilas Mestre, Charlotte Munch Bengtsen, Erik Andersson
Co-producers: Christine Cynn, Torstein Grude, Joshua Oppenheimer, Bjarte Mørner Tveit
Original Sound Design: Elin Øyen Vister
Supported by Ford Foundation, ZDF Arte, VPRO, SVT, YLE, Danish Film Institute, DR, Danida, Norwegian Film Institute, NRK, Fritt Ord, Stavanger Kommune, AHRC UK, Westminster University, Media Development, Media Broadcast, Kudos Family, Stiftelsen Matriark, Nordic Film and TV Fund and Against Gravity
DIRECTOR - JOSHUA OPPENHEIMER
Joshua Oppenheimer is a two-time Oscar® nominated film director born in the USA. His debut feature film, The Act of Killing (2014 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary), was named Film of the Year in the 2013 by the Guardian and the Sight and Sound Film Poll, and won 72 international awards, including a European Film Award, a BAFTA, an Asia Pacific Screen Award, a Berlinale Audience Award, and the Guardian Film Award for Best Film. His second film, The Look of Silence (2016 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary), premiered at the 71st Venice Film Festival, where it won five awards, including the Grand Jury Prize, the international critics award (FIPRESCI Prize) and the European film critics award (FEDEORA Prize). Since then, The Look of Silence has received 73 international awards, including an Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary, an International Documentary Association Award for Best Documentary, a Gotham Award for Best Documentary, and three Cinema Eye Honors. In 2015, Joshua Oppenheimer received a MacArthur Fellowship (popularly known as ’the genius grant’).
SELECT FESTIVALS & AWARDS
BAFTA FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM〡GUARDIAN FILM AWARDS – BEST FILM〡CINEMA EYE HONORS AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NONFICTION FEATURE FILMMAKING & PRODUCTION〡ASIA PACIFIC SCREEN AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM〡BRITDOC 2013 PUMA IMPACT AWARD〡GOTHAM AWARD 2013 FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY〡EUROPEAN FILM AWARD 2013 FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY〡DANISH FILM ACADEMY AWARD 2013 FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY (ROBERT PRIZE)
TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2012〡TELLURIDE 2012〡CPH:DOX 2012 – DOX:AWARD〡BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL 2013 – PANORAMA AUDIENCE AWARD & PRIZE OF THE ECUMENICAL JURY〡SXSW 2013〡TRUE/FALSE 2013〡MOVIES THAT MATTER 2013〡TEMPO FESTIVAL 2013〡HONG KONG IFF 2013〡LUXEMBOURG CITY FILM FESTIVAL 2013〡DOCVILLE 2013〡INDIELISBOA 2013〡DOCAVIV 2013〡ZAGREBDOX 2013 – MOVIES THAT MATTER AWARD〡ONE WORLD PRAGUE 2013 – BEST FILM〡FIFDH GENEVA 2013 – GILDA VIEIRA DE MELLO PRIZE〡INDIELISBOA 2013 – AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AWARD〡BELDOCS 2013 – GRAND PRIX FOR BEST FILM〡DOCUMENTAMADRID 2013 – FIRST PRIZE OF THE JURY & AUDIENCE AWARD〡DOCSBARCELONA 2013 – BEST FILM AWARD (GRAND PRIZE)〡SHEFFIELD DOC FEST 2013 – GRAND PRIZE & AUDIENCE AWARD〡BIOGRAFILM FESTIVAL ITALY 2013 – GRAND PRIZE〡NORDISK PANORAMA 2013 – BEST NORDIC DOCUMENTARY〡YAMAGATA INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL 2013 – MAYOR’S PRIZE〡BERGEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2013 – CHECKPOINTS AWARD〡SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2013〡MELBOURNE IFF 2013
“I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade… unprecedented in the history of cinema.”
– Werner Herzog
“Like all great documentaries, The Act of Killing demands another way of looking at reality. It starts as a dreamscape, an attempt to allow the perpetrators to reenact what they did, and then something truly amazing happens. The dream dissolves into nightmare and then into bitter reality. An amazing and impressive film.”
– Errol Morris
“The best, and most horrific, film of this year’s Toronto film festival…every frame is astonishing.”
– The Guardian
“A surreal, chilling and unprecedented examination of atrocity and accountability, it’s difficult to think of another documentary—or piece of media—that so thoroughly captures a mass murderer’s conscience—as well as charting its evolution.”
– Screen Daily
“The most unsettling movie about mass killing since ‘Shoah'”