The Look of Silence

  • Joshua Oppenheimer
  • Denmark, England, Indonesia, Norway, Finland
  • 2014
  • 98 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Masters
In this companion piece to Oscar® nominee and European Film Award winner The Act of Killing, Oppenheimer continues his exploration of Indonesia’s handling of the mass murder of a million communists and suspected communists in 1965 and 1966. The perpetrators continue to be regarded as heroes by the Indonesian state, while the actual events remain concealed. Oppenheimer’s main protagonist is Adi, born in February 1968, two years after the murder of his brother Ramli. Adi watches footage from Oppenheimer’s interviews with death squad members. The interviewees admit to being under the command of the Indonesian army and – often smiling – show in detail where and how they murdered their prisoners, including Ramli. Adi personally confronts the guilty parties, but time and again they point to others, angrily cut the conversation short or threaten him with violence. Oppenheimer’s breathtaking cinematography features Adi’s house, where he lives with his elderly parents and his children, as a calm oasis of picturesque beauty. Though undeniably courageous, Adi, the optometrist hoping to bring history into sharper focus for the perpetrators as well, refuses to share his address with them out of fear for reprisals. For similar reasons, many Indonesian members of the film crew appear anonymously in the credits.

Credits

  • 98 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Indonesian
  • Subtitles in: English
Director
Joshua Oppenheimer
Production
Signe Byrge Sørensen for Final Cut for Real
Co-production
Piraya Film AS, Making Movies Oy
Cinematography
Lars Skree
Editing
Niels Pagh Andersen

IDFA history

2019
Screened
Focus: The Villain
2014
Dutch Premiere
Masters

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IDFA history

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