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98% The Act Of Killing

August 15, 2013

All Critics (89) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (87) | Rotten (2)

Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary interviews leaders of Indonesian death squads responsible for deaths of millions & has them re-enact the killings. The combination of drama therapy and accidental self-exposure – utterly bizarre, unexpected and valuable.

[A] unique and unforgettable documentary.

The acts it describes are shocking, the world it shows is shocking and the filmmaking itself is shocking. This is not a film easily forgotten.

A horrifying yet mesmerizing work, “The Act of Killing” instructively meanders at times as in a Werner Herzog film.

Better characters could hardly have been invented.

This film is jaw-dropping. It’s a must-see.

The Absurd-Banal-Hideous-O-Meter hits eleven and breaks.

The best documentary to grace U.S. screens in years. It’s horrifying, riveting, and even, at times, darkly funny.

The Act of Killing allows the victors a forum to elaborate on their story, and, by their own hands, these aged conquerors unwittingly rewrite aspects of the history that has propped them up for so many decades.

… a fascinating exploration into the ways that guilt can manifest itself … a mind-boggling two hours.

“The Act of Killing” is difficult to watch because it toys with your emotions. These men repel you, yet simultaneously, draw you to them, as they nonchalantly and proudly brag about their work.

A shocking exhibition of what Hannah Arendt called the banality of evil–or, in this case, the absurdity of evil.

‘The Act of Killing’ is unsettling in drawing in the viewer, in almost humanizing its unrepentant vile inhuman men who in theory did not act for personal motives.

The Act of Killing will mesmerize, confound and haunt you. From the opening scenes you’ll wonder if what you’re watching is real. And by the end you’ll wish that it had all been a horrible fever dream.

There is no sense of remorse in these men for what they did to so many innocent people and that…is chilling.

Watching these crazy loons make a movie about their crimes against humanity may not be the most pleasant way to spend an evening. But you can’t deny that it’s utterly fascinating.

Directors Joshua Oppenheimer and Christine Cynn have created something extraordinary in The Act of Killing, the much-talked-about documentary about torture and murder during the Indonesian dictatorship of the ’60s and ’70s.

This riveting documentary about political mass murder in Indonesia incorporates the killers’ own movie fantasies about their massacres and deepens our understanding of the fascist brain.


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