THE ACT OF KILLING is one of the most profoundly disturbing documentaries I have ever seen. Nominated for Best Documentary I would be surprised if it did not take home the Oscar statue. 

The film follows a number of government sanctioned “gangsters” (or as they interpret the word “free men”) who after the overthrow of the Indonesian government in 1965 became part of the new regime’s death squad. As executioners they helped to kill over a million alleged communists and ethnic Chinese. 

Anwar Congo, who is the main focus of the documentary was one of the most feared leaders of the death squads and is personally responsible for killing about 1,000 people by his own hand. 

If that wasn’t sobering enough, the documentary follows them now in the present as they celebrate their genocide by filming a movie that recreates the atrocities with “high” production value and musical numbers. 

There doesn’t appear to be one ounce of remorse in their exploits. As a matter of fact, it’s just the opposite: they take great pride in what they’ve done and even reminisce about it with huge grins on their faces. 

Produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, the only way I can describe THE ACT OF KILLING is imagine if you watched WAITING FOR GUFFMAN directed by Alejandro Jodorworsky (EL TOPO, SANTA SANGRE). 

Madness…Complete and utter madness… 

It’s as if the inmates have taken over the asylum and convinced everyone that they have always been in control. Beyond that, it rewrites the book on sociopathic behavior. 

THE ACT OF KILLING is a MUST SEE MOVIE not just because it’s compelling and riveting, but because it is necessary viewing as a human being to stare into the eyes of pure evil and witness first hand what people are capable of. 

This movie will haunt me for some time.

FEBRUARY 24, 2014


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