8.19.2013 The Act of Killing


Amazing.  That he was able to get them to do and say all of this.  That he was able to get that kind of transformation out of Anwar.  The structure – which is often one of the worst aspects of documentaries.  I hope Oppenheimer can continue this strong.

At first I was worried he would never break through him, but he did.  The first scene where I knew this wasn’t just good, but great, is when their assistant tells them all about his step-father being murdered.  We have no frame of reference for these kinds of situations in our reality.  Larry David can’t touch that kind of tension. The other two scenes that I really think bring this up to be one of the best docs I’ve ever seen are the last re-enactment and the the final scene.  You feel for him and while that might not be ideal politically, the film doesn’t seem interested in those kinds of politics.  It seems very humanist in a weird way – using the absurdity to blame the crazy world as much as the individual.  This can be dangerous, but the inverse (which we get 99% of the time) is equally so.

It did make me wonder how much continuity was played with and how much control Anwar had over the shifting point of view, towards the victim, of the created scenes.  Is his character arc real or a creation of Oppenheimer, and do I really want to know.  Probably not.