By now you’ve heard of the extraordinary documentary, The Act of Killing, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer. Josh and I went to college together, and for a year or two we collaborated on wild art & activism projects. So, having helped out on his early work, it is particularly delightful to see The Act of Killing make such waves. The documentary challenges audiences and receives well-deserved critical acclaim everywhere it goes, and, even more impressively, back in Indonesia it opened up space for political discussion where there had been decades of media silence.
Here’s the trailer in case you haven’t seen it yet. In the middle video Josh explains what happened with the film in Indonesia, from the massive amounts of investigative journalism that it sparked to organizing invite-only screenings to avoid getting it banned. Incredible stuff. After that, big dogs Errol Morris (“I think there’s some inherent madness in this approach.”) and Werner Herzog explain why they find Josh’s film so powerful.