The Act of Killing

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

In 1965 Indonesia was overthrown by the military and death squads killed over a million communists, native Chinese and intellectuals with the knowledge/approval of the military.  None of these people have ever been brought to justice and are still treated as heroes and with respect in Indonesia.

The Act of Killing is a fascinating and disturbing documentary focusing on some of these murderers.  They have no remorse and this film puts a human face on these people who have performed inhuman acts.  They recreate some of these acts for the film because they think it is necessary to resent their side for history.   At the end of the recreations you see the impact of these acts of horror on the people acting in the scenes even if, for the most part, the original perpetrators still don’t.

Some of this movie is tough to watch.  other parts are actually funny (as when one person decides to run for elected office).  Before the film stated there was a short intro by the director.  He said he didn’t really expect people to enjoy the film but hoped they would find it interesting and thought provoking.  This film isn’t for everyone but it is definitely achieves the directors goals.


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