The Act of Killing – 6.5

A sick movie about sick people – specifically, Indonesian gangsters who killed wantonly in 1965 and are now willing to make a movie about it. It’s hard to feel bad for mass murderers, but it is fairly clear they are being manipulated by director Joshua Oppenheimer, who must know that his subjects are making fools of themselves. The fact that 90% of the people working on the film chose to list themselves as “Anonymous” in the credits gives you some idea of how they think the movie will be received in Indonesia, if it is shown there at all. The history the film recounts is shocking, but the shock comes from the superscripted information. The people on screen just come across as ignorant buffoons with a license to kill.

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