‘The Look of Silence’

An extraordinarily confronting documentary, director Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing) continues his exploration of the 1965 Indonesian massacres and those responsible.

In a bold mise-en-scène, through optometrist Avi who lost a brother, murdered in the culling of ‘communists’, Oppenheimer interviews numerous men who ordered or carried out the mass killings. As Avi attempts to find out how a brother he never knew died, so current politicians and men of responsibility justify their actions. More than a million people were murdered: along with jokes, not one ounce of remorse or regret is present in the interviews.

As the horrors of reality and the acts of men are unveiled, a quietly restrained Avi gently probes and questions, looking for a flicker, a momentary realisation to no avail. Pauses, silences, reflection maybe but no regret – even to the brother of a murdered victim.

Nominated for the 2016 best documentary Oscar.

Rating: 63%

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