Saturday, 1 March 2014

The Act of Killing: DVD Review

The Act of Killing: DVD Review

Rating: R13
Released by Madman Home Entertainment

The Act of Killing is an utterly extraordinary piece of film-making. 

It follows Indonesian death squad leaders and demands that they re-enact their killings from the 1965/66 coup. Specifically, director Joshua Oppenheimer takes in gangster Anwar Congo and his acts of genocide as well as other leaders in the movement and those who supported the murders from the sidelines. 

As a peek into the mindset and psychology of a mass murderer, it's actually quite chilling as those involved matter of factly discuss how they killed people, avoided the blood of many by using wire from a distance to slaughter and how they feel they're like gangsters from Hollywood films. 

It's completely shocking to realise what they've done, but what's even more shocking is how little they initially seem to feel about it all. 

Gradually though, Anwar begins to realise what he's done as this trippy piece, with its Hollywood re-enactments and lavish musical number nears its end. 

As they realise they're troubled by hallucinations and show some signs of remorse for what they've done, you begin to realise the strangest doco is also the most powerful, affecting and haunting. 

Extras: Directors' cut audio commentary, theatrical cut of film, Werner Herzog on the film, MasterClass


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