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.
Didn't read up on this documentary a whole lot before purchasing. Had to look it up after watching to confirm that it was real. Extremely well made and tear jerking. I lend it out along with Act of Killing to anyone I can. Brings light to an widely unknown event and shows a normally unseen perspective. Highly recommend.
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.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Human rights' are a fine thing, but how can we make ourselves sure that our rights do not expand at the expense of the rights of others. A society with unlimited rights is incapable of standing to adversity. If we do not wish to be ruled by a coercive authority, then each of us must rein himself in...A stable society is achieved not by balancing opposing forces but by conscious self-limitation: by the principle that we are always duty-bound to defer to the sense of moral justice.
The Act of Killing + Digital Copy re-enactment of Indonesian 1965 genocide by perpetrators for documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer involved many volunteers who went unacknowledged to protect their identities.
One young optometrist Adi viewed 100s of hours of uncut interviews with murderers for Act of Killing with curiosity and deep sadness; those who tortured and murdered his brother boast of the grisly details on film. Before the Act of Killing was released, Adi asked Oppenheimer to film him, Adi, talking with his brother's assailants. The film project involved extraordinary risk for Adi, his wife, children, his elderly mother, his blind senile paralyzed father, Oppenheimer and Danish crew.
The filming window of opportunity was narrow and had to occur before The Act of Killing was released at which point Oppenheimer's life would be forfeit if he attempted return to Indonesia. Preparations had to be in place to immediately flee after each interview segment in case of threatening repercussions.
For 50 years victim families have lived side by side with those who murdered their loved ones, intimidated into silence by fear. The Act of Killing offered Indonesians an opportunity to see in themselves the potential for Hannah Arendt's "banality of evil" no "particularity of wickedness, pathology or ideological conviction in the doer whose only personal distinction was a perhaps extraordinary shallowness." Arendt's depiction of a "quite authentic inability to think" is countered by The Look of Silence's observation of shuttered faces, weak rationalizations, when Adi offers the opportunity for apology forgiveness resolution "you killed my brother."
The Look of Silence posits evil is not an inability to think so much as active conscious suppression of thought, replaced by a media celebrity attitude toward mass murder.
Adi is an optometrist. After his volunteer work on The Act of Killing with Oppenheimer, out of curiosity, Adi began inquiring of all patients over the age of 60 what they recalled of 1965. All were delighted to regale with their tales of murder, or terror. Murderer faces reveal how political and financial advantage gained through genocide compromises the ability to think. The lies we tell ourselves prevent us from being authentic with ourselves. Murderers' script themselves as altruistic with giddy bragging strutting swagger. Cultural fabric is rent, morality is left unexamined.
Genocidal trauma resonates through multiple generations, children and grandchildren, who now carry the family truths for both perpetrator and victim. The same genocidal legacy is palpable in Cambodian melancholy The Killing Fields Sam Waterston Haing S Ngor.
The Look of Silence is visual storytelling with sparse dialogue. Bonus Features include an interview with Joshua Oppenheimer and Q&A session at Berlin film festival February 2015 with Werner Herzog and Joshua Oppenheimer Fearless Creating by Eric Maisel (Jan 11 2002).
Each human is capable of evil and goodness. We can choose. Departures Oscar Best Foreign film English subtitles.
Like The Act of Killing, this documentary is about the Indonesian communist purge of 1964-65, but its main focus is its victims rather than its perpetrators. Adi, an optometrist who lost his older brother to the purge, hosts interviews with the killers, each of which is shocking and saddening. Besides its historical significance, this movie is valuable as a study of how people live with themselves after causing, witnessing or being a victim of atrocities. Luckily, the scenes where Adi spends time with his children, wife and parents add much-needed levity.