Movie Review: The Look of Silence

Drafthouse Films

The Look of Silence
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Joshua Oppenheimer
Genre: Documentary
Rated: PG - 13 for thematic material involving disturbing graphic descriptions of atrocities and inhumanity
Recommended To: Those looking for a devastating, yet necessary, documentary related to the mass killings that happened in Indonesia in 1965-66 following the overthrow of the Communist government.

Synopsis: A man confronts the people responsible for killing his brother in the Indonesian killings of 1965-66.

Review: Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Act of Killing gave a voice to those responsible for the mass slayings that took place in Indonesia when the military overthrew the Communist government in 1965. It was a shocking film as the killers created a series of reenactments, some more surreal than others, and boasted about the extreme methods they used to kill their victims. The Look of Silence serves as a companion to that film as it gives the brother of one of the victims the opportunity to confront those responsible for his brother’s death. The Look of Silence is chilling, but to reduce the experience and the range of emotions I felt while watching the film into a handful of words is simply inadequate.

Where The Act of Killing essentially documented what happened according to the men who laid claim to the massacre, The Look of Silence helps to explain the impact that the events had and continue to have on Indonesia. The killings that took place 50 years ago are not a faded memory; they are a constant threat that still exists.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanMpainter

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