Previously at the ICA - Films
28 Jun 2013 – 22 Jun 2014
Tickets now £6 (£3 for ICA Members) as we approach 52 weeks of consecutive screenings.
'almost every frame is astonishing' Film of the Year 2013 ★★★★★
- The Guardian
'like no movie seen before' ★★★★★
- Financial Times
Film of the Week ★★★★★
- Time Out
BAFTA Award for Best Documentary 2013
Special Jury Prize, Sheffield Documentary Festival 2013
In this chilling and inventive documentary, produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, the unrepentant former members of Indonesian death squads are challenged to re-enact some of their many murders in the style of the American movies they love.
In the 1960's Anwar Congo was a leader in Indonesia's pro-regime paramilitary the Pancasila Youth who, along with his band of dedicated followers, was amongst those who participated in the murder and torture of more than a million alleged Communists, ethnic Chinese and intellectuals. Proud of their deeds and completely unpunished, Anwar and his pals are delighted when the film's director ask them to re-enact these murders for their documentary - in any genre they desire. Initially Anwar and his friends enthusiastically take up the challenge using hired actors, making elaborate sets and costumes and even using pyrotechnics, but eventually as the movie violence is played out and reconstructed, Anwar finally begins to feel unease and remorse.
Director’s cuts quite often are simply too long, but with The Act of Killing the opposite occurs. It gains in depth, taking you into a vortex of fever dreams, pulling you deep inside the nightmares of the protagonists. You find yourself drawn irrevocably into the darkest souls, and time acquires a different role, as if you and the world had stopped breathing. The shorter version is trimmed down mostly to emphasize its political content, but Joshua Oppenheimer's film is much more than a political documentary. It is a masterpiece of filmmaking, full of depth, surrealism, and stunning silences that will outlive the political message.
Have patience. In half a century from now, this film will still stand out as something no one has ever seen before, and no one will ever see again. And it is the director's cut that will be the only version remaining.
- Werner Herzog
The Act of Killing (Director’s Cut), dir. Joshua Oppenheimer, Norway/Denmark/UK 2012, 159mins, cert. 15
Please note that all films are 18+ unless otherwise stated. The feature will start approximately 15 minutes after the listed start time.