The Look Of Silence

The Look Of SilenceBBBB.5

(out of 5)


The blazing effect of The Act Of Killing is developed further as director Joshua Oppenheimer goes deeper into his subject, this time centering on the experiences of one family that has been living under Indonesia’s military dictatorship since it overthrew the government in 1965. lives with his aged parents and spends his days making a living selling glasses to the locals, his small clan haunted by the ghost of his brother who was executed before Adi was even born.  Making his rounds at his trade, Rukun asks questions of his older customers about their memories of the days when death squads were killing citizens in high volume, their aim to rid the country of communists and their ideology fully supported by the American military.  Rukun’s questioning takes him into the presence of a number of people who were directly involved in his brother’s death, culminating in a sit down discussion with the family of one key member of the crime who react in volatile and passionate ways to the information they are given about their relative’s past.  It is an ironic coincidence that Rukun, whose career is to help others see clearly, is rejected when he forces people to not just discuss but look directly at their past.  Deeper and more meditative than Oppenheimer’s first film, this is a moving and melancholy work that enriches the viewer with information as well as emotionally explosive confrontations that break you deep in your heart (I hope).  Given that everyone involved is also risking life and limb to appear here, it’s also a politically vital film that is magnificent just for having been made.


Denmark/Indonesia/Finland/Norway/United Kingdom/Israel/France/USA/Germany/Netherlands, 2014

Directed by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by ,

Film Editing by

Film Festivals: TIFF 2014, Venice 2014


Cast Tags:  , , ,, , ,


Academy Award Nomination
Best Documentary Feature (Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sorensen)

European Film Award Nomination
Best European Documentary

Independent Spirit Award
Best Documentary

Los Angeles Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film

National Board of Review Award
Top Five Documentaries

Toronto Film Critics Award
Allan King Documentary Award

Boston Film Critics Award
Best Foreign Language Film

Nomination
Best Documentary


The Look Of Silence3 The Look Of Silence2

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