The Look of Silence
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The Look of Silence is Joshua Oppenheimer s powerful companion piece to the Oscar®-nominated The Act Of Killing. Through Oppenheimer s footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of the killers. The documentary focuses on the youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, who decides to break the suffocating spell of submission and terror by doing something unimaginable in a society where the murderers remain in power: he confronts the men who killed his brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions. This unprecedented film initiates and bears witness to the collapse of fifty years of silence.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Recommended. prisrob 02-28-16
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.
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.