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The Act of Killing #TheActOfKilling

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PBS Premiere: October 6, 2014


Nominated for an Academy Award®, The Act of Killing is as dreamlike and terrifying as anything that Werner Herzog (one of the executive producers) could imagine. This film explores a horrifying era in Indonesian history and provides a window into modern Indonesia, where corruption reigns. Not only is the 1965 murder of an estimated one million people honored as a patriotic act, but the killers remain in power. In a mind-bending twist, death-squad leaders dramatize their brutal deeds in the style of the American westerns, musicals and gangster movies they love — and play both themselves and their victims. As their heroic facade crumbles, they come to question what they've done. Winner, 2014 BAFTA Film Award, Best Documentary.

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Film Information

The Act of Killing (120 min.)

Premiere Date: October 6, 2014

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmaker: Joshua Oppenheimer Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Critical Acclaim | Press Release | Fact Sheet | Season Announcement


Joshua Oppenheimer
Joshua Oppenheimer

Film Update

Critical Acclaim

This audacious, horrifying, boldly experimental plunge into the mind-set of murderers and the culture of impunity breaks so many rules of documentary decorum that it virtually creates its own genre: investigative improv, perhaps. Or, better yet, Brechtian nonfiction. Whatever you call it, The Act of Killing is a must-see. . . . A brilliant, powerful reckoning with the wages of history, mendacity and denial.

— Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

This feature-length documentary may be one of the most horrifying films you'll ever see, and one of the most edifying.

— Joe Morganstern, The Wall Street Journal

Startling. . . . blending the horrific and the absurd in a disturbing cocktail. . . . it destabilizes our sense of the boundary between make-believe violence and its real-world counterpart. . . . Repellent but also curiously fascinating, as Hannah Arendt’s observation about the ‘banality of evil’ is given a chilling postmodern twist.

— A.O. Scott, The New York Times

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