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116 user 257 critic

The Act of Killing (2012)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Crime | 8 November 2012 (Denmark)
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A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.

Directors:

Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous (co-director) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 53 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anwar Congo ... Himself - Executioner in 1965
Herman Koto Herman Koto ... Himself - Gangster and Paramilitary Leader
Syamsul Arifin Syamsul Arifin ... Himself - Governor of North Sumatra
Ibrahim Sinik Ibrahim Sinik ... Himself - Newspaper Publisher
Yapto Soerjosoemarno Yapto Soerjosoemarno ... Himself - Leader of Pancasila Youth
Safit Pardede Safit Pardede ... Himself - Local Paramilitary Leader
Jusuf Kalla Jusuf Kalla ... Himself - Vice President of Indonesia
Adi Zulkadry Adi Zulkadry ... Himself - Fellow Executioner in 1965
Soaduon Siregar Soaduon Siregar ... Himself - Journalist
Suryono Suryono ... Himself - Anwar's Neighbor
Haji Marzuki Haji Marzuki ... Himself - Member of North Sumatra Parliament (as Marzuki)
Haji Anif Haji Anif ... Himself - Paramilitary Leader and Businessman
Rahmat Shah Rahmat Shah ... Himself - Member of Parliament
Sakhyan Asmara Sakhyan Asmara ... Himself - Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport
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Storyline

A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When killers win, when killers become heroes. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | Denmark | Norway

Language:

Indonesian | English

Release Date:

8 November 2012 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Actul de a ucide See more »

Filming Locations:

Medan, Indonesia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,450, 21 July 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$486,919

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$722,274
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended) | (TV) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two of the world's most honored documentary filmmakers - Werner Herzog and Errol Morris - are credited as executive producers. See more »

Quotes

Anwar Congo: Why do people watch James Bond? To see action. Why do people watch films about Nazis? To see power and sadism! We can do that! We can make something even more sadistic than... more sadistic than what you see in movies about Nazis. Sure I can. Because there's never been a movie where heads get chopped off - except in fiction, but that's different - because I did it in real life!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The name "Anonymous" appears 49 times under 27 different crew positions in the credits. This was done to protect the identities of those crew members who feared retribution from the former Indonesian death squad leaders. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 159-min version is the director's cut. It is the only version being released in Indonesia, and was released alongside the 115-min version in Danish cinemas. Compared to the shorter version, the 159-minute version reveals more of the filmmaking method and also explores the role of propaganda cinema in maintaining anti-communist fervor. The fiction scenes take over the film's form to the extent that ultimately the boundaries between fiction and documentary blur. In the final act, Anwar's descent in the long version is longer and more complex. See more »

Connections

Features Ghost Rider (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Maju Tak Gentar
Composer: Cornel Simanjuntak
Courtesy of Pangihutan Simanjuntak
See more »

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User Reviews

 
JAW DROPPING you have to see it to believe it.
2 January 2014 | by john-138-904908See all my reviews

Mark Twain said "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." and in this film you are hit a raw and unbelievable impossible truth. You are left wondering how the hell the film makers got such confessions from such mass murderers who now seem more eccentric then evil.

" If we don't learn from history we are bound to repeat it" and I begin this paragraph with another famous but empty quote. But when you see this film you understand what that means. You may have read about political death squads, as I have, but I confess I never knew exactly what that meant. I thought they consisted of disciplined military units who targeted activists in a clinical way, and I thought that appalling. But death squads are unleashed thugs and these targeted communities, ethnic groups, communists and anyone else they wanted, to a tune of 2,5 million dead. This was another 20th century genocide and in the film the criminals still talk about "extermination" as if it was a good thing.

In such an ethnically diverse place like Indonesia politicians should not talk or hold in respect war criminals who participated in genocide and in this film they openly do. Do they realise they are sending a message out, that this behaviour is acceptable in certain circumstance, which generally means it will happen again. Also, the international community should insist these men are taken to account and brought to the court of human rights in The Hague, as "we" should also insist this is always unacceptable. I urge all to watch this film, it is disturbing, jaw dropping, and something you will never forget. After the last scene of the film and thinking about what I just seen I let the credits run and even there, a poignant message, the amount of "anonymous" from makeup artists, producers and even one of the 2 directors shout volumes.


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