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The Look Of Silence Review

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The director of The Act of Killing returns to Indonesia to follow an optician as he confronts members of the death squad that murdered his brother – and a million others – in the mid-1960s.

★★★★★

A harrowing, achingly human companion piece to Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing, in which director Oppenheimer follows an optician, Adi, as he visits – and, in some cases, confronts – surviving members of the death squads who murdered his brother, Ramli, and a million other so-called ‘Communists’ following the military coup of 1965. Imagining Holocaust survivors confronting ageing Nazi death camp proprietors, while the Third Reich is still in power, may be the only way to fully understand Oppenheimer’s film. A half century on, there is no closure here: how do you hope to effect justice for a million murders when the killers still run the country?

The Act of Killing director Oppenheimer’s return to the killing fields of Indonesia is as bleak, unflinching and utterly unmissable as its predecessor, while the number of people credited as ‘Anonymous’ in the end credits is as bone-chilling as what has gone before.

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