Once again, Oppenheimer has provided us with a rare opportunity to glimpse into the psyche of the perpetrators of horrific genocide. It is extremely difficult to watch. In my opinion, it is imperative to watch. Human beings are capable of holding and compartmentalizing very disparate beliefs. If we don't attempt to understand this, we are destined to repeat it ,or at the very least, "wring our hands" as it happens over and over, and never believe that each of us is both vulnerable and responsible. The optometrist is very brave. I am awed by his self control in the presence of the men who murdered his brother. This film terrifies and infuriates me. I am thankful that Oppenheimer (and staff, crew) and the Optometrist had the courage and grace to confront this issue. I highly recommend this film, and encourage you to view it alone and in a contemplative mood.
This is a film that brings the horrific slaughter of millions in Indonesia to the forefront with the victim's families questioning the murderers. Anyone considered a Communist in 1956 , was killed wantonly and brutally, and for sixty years, most everyone denies anything took place. No one wants to relive the tragedies, it is better to turn a blind eye.
However, a young man, Adi, who's in his forties interviews the murderers. Adi is an opthamologist, and he brings his office out into the countryside, into the home. He tells the people he likes to talk to old people to hear about the old days, while he is examining their eyes. What he wants to know is about the murder of his older brother, Ramli. Adi's parents, are in their 100's, and his mother continues to care for his blind father. The irony is interesting, in that the murderers do not want to see, and it is the victim's family who cannot see.
Adi, while talking, examines the murders eyes, another great irony. We are privy to see on film the story of the brutal murders. Adi, however, remains calm and collected, and it is his behavior that we will most remember.
Joshua Oppenheimer brings us this remarkable film. 'The Look of Silence' is nominated for an Academy Award in the documentary category. It is one of the more remarkable documentaries I have seen. It is up against stiff competition against 'Amy', but this documentary deserves the Oscar.
A work of magnificence in its own category, along with its prequel. This is the kind of documentary that blurs the line between journalism and anthropological research, documenting a still unresolved piece of history that would strike the viewer as science fiction if the evidence was not so amply laid out for us. Genocide is almost cheapened by frequent use in reports on global conflict today, or the obsessive hindsight we pay toward Soviet and Nazi regimes. Even if the crimes in this film were brought to trial, we're given a first-hand demonstration that guilt and amends are not properly made without tactile understanding of what happened, how and why it happened, and who the victims are, behind a headline or statistic. Oppenheimer offers us an unflinching gaze into the abyss of human carnage and cognitive dissonance, propaganda and the banality of evil, inviting the viewer (along with untried war criminals interviewed for the film) to confront what it means for humans to commit violence on one another. Every war (including current conflicts) deserves this kind of transparent, delicate, yet powerful analysis of what happens when the "fog" of war descends and then blows away like a hurricane. It may not be for the faint of heart, but it's dedicated to thawing the hard of heart.
What a great look at some of the most horrific men that have ever wantonly killed others in the name of some bogus political agenda that only worked to bring out the absolute worst in these horrid and hideous men.
One of the most remarkable films I've ever seen, which should be of great interest to anyone concerned with human rights, 20th century Indochinese history, and the role of the artist as an agent of social change. I loved Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing, which is an important companion to this film, but found Look of Silence even more disquieting, and also more profoundly sad. I was moved, after seeing Silence, to read everything I could about the history of the Indonesian genocide of 1965, and on a smaller scale, about the fate of Adi Rukun. In the film, Adi, at great personal risk, confronts numerous individuals who had a role in the death of his older brother Ramli, who was brutally tortured to death by a local paramilitary organization while the US-backed military looked on. Look of Silence has a slow, deliberate pacing, but its ultimate impact is extraordinarily powerful.
devastating...an unblinking documentary look at human nature at its worst, and our ability to live in total denial about the evil we men (and women) do..
it might help viewers to see the director's earlier "the act of murder" about the Indonesian genocide. that film used a wider lens, persuading multiple perpetrators to re-enact -- with props and costumes -- the brutal murders of their fellow citizens -- many of their own family and neighbors -- for the camera -- and they do so with a disturbing glee and pride. "the look of silence" has a tighter focus -- and maybe an even more devastating impact -- by concentrating on the emotional damage of the genocide on one family...it stands on its own.
in the course of movie history, many powerful -- even award-winning films -- have been made -- but few are truly necessary. thank you, joshua oppenheimer, for your years of work and dedication here. you've made a movie that absolutely needed to be made -- and needs to be seen.
I don't actually love this documentary. The subject matter is pretty horrible, it is an extremely important one. We need to be reminded on a regular basis just who we really are so that we don't keep doing this kind of think over and over with fanatic zeal. Pleas watch and be reminded, save a life, or maybe a few thousand lives.