It has recently been announced that the award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary film The Act Of Killing will be made available for free to the people of Indonesia in perpetuity – where a theatrical and home entertainment release has not been possible due to political reasons – through the joint efforts of the US distributor Drafthouse Films, global media company VICE, integrated digital platform VHX, Danish film production company Final Cut for Real ApS, and the anonymous crew behind the film.
Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, executive produced by Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, and produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen, The Act Of Killing ventures deep into the imagination of former Indonesian death squad leaders, who are challenged to re-enact their real-life killings in the style of the American movies they love; including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.
Beginning on September 30th – the anniversary of the start of the 1965-66 genocide in Indonesia – The Act Of Killing will be available as a free digital download geo-blocked exclusively for Indonesians throughout the country. Oppenheimer’s film uniquely examines the Indonesian genocide where an estimated 1,000,000 people lost their lives, and the contemporary regime of corruption and impunity the unrepentant former executioners inhabit.
“The history of the 1965 genocide belongs to the people of Indonesia,” says Director Joshua Oppenheimer, “and for that reason it has always been our intention to give the film to all Indonesians. Born 1974, Texas, USA. Joshua Oppenheimer has worked for over a decade with militias, death squads and their victims to explore the relationship between political violence and the public imagination. Educated at Harvard and Central St Martins, London, his award-winning films include The Globalization Tapes (2003, co-directed with Christine Cynn), The Entire History Of The Louisiana Purchase (1998, Gold Hugo, Chicago Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival), These Places We’ve Learned To Call Home (1996, Gold Spire, San Francisco Film Festival) and numerous shorts. Oppenheimer was senior researcher on the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Genocide and Genre project, and is currently Artistic Director of the Centre for Documentary and Experimental Film at the University of Westminster, London. Oppenheimer is currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Watch an interview with Werner Herzog and Errol Morris talking about The Act of Killing.