The Act of Killing

How would we feel if the ruling party in Germany was still the Nazi party? If the people who committed the holocaust had not only avoided international justice, but also boasted of such atrocities as if they had been acts of heroism?

There is such a place today. In Indonesia, the regime that tortured and murdered millions of innocents who opposed it, remains in power. And the murderers celebrate their deeds before the children of those they killed.

In the film “The Act of Killing” (2012), the director “deceived” the criminals so that they simulated their past acts, believing that the documentary would serve to glorify them. Thus we see how these people interrogated their enemies, how they dismembered children in front of their mothers.

On occasion, a bit of creative excess makes the movie acquire a hallucinatory quality, almost as if it were a fevered dream. But even this is not able to spare us the true terror of the film: these are people like us.