28 user 186 critic

The Look of Silence (2014)

1:45 | Trailer
A family that survived the genocide in Indonesia confronts the men who killed one of their brothers.


Joshua Oppenheimer
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 48 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Adi Rukun ... Self - brother of murdered Ramli Rukun
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
M.Y. Basrun M.Y. Basrun ... Self - former commander of a civilian militia
Amir Hasan Amir Hasan ... Self - former leader of death squad (archive footage)
Inong ... Self - former leader the village death squad
Kemat Kemat ... Self - survivor from Snake River massacre
Joshua Oppenheimer ... Self (voice) (as Josh)
Amir Siahaan Amir Siahaan ... Self - former commander of Snake River death squads
Ted Yates Ted Yates ... Self - reporter, NBC News (archive footage)


An Indonesian man with a communist background named Ramli was brutally murdered when the "Communist" purge occurred in 1965. His remaining family members lived in fear and silence until the making of this documentary. Adi, a brother of his, decided to revisit the horrific incident and visited the men who were responsible for the killings and one survivor of the purge. These meetings uncovered sadistic details of the murders and exposed raw emotions and reactions of the killers' family members about what happened in the past - much to Adi's disappointment.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One of the Best Films of the Year! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG - 13 for thematic material involving disturbing graphic descriptions of atrocities and inhumanity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Was conceived as a two-part project from the very beginning by the director Joshua Oppenheimer, the first part being The Act Of Killing. See more »


Joshua Oppenheimer: What support did you have from the Army?
Amir Hasan - Former Leader of Death Squad: They waited at the road with the truck. They didn't come down here. They never came down here. They called this, 'The People's Struggle.' So, they kept their distance. If the Army was seen doing this, the world would be angry. 'The Army is killing Communists!' So, to protect their image they made it look like the people exterminated the Communists. But everybody knows the Army was behind it.
See more »


References First Blood (1982) See more »


Rege Rege
See more »

User Reviews

"Look of Silence" is a great title for this movie, for many reasons
15 February 2016 | by peefynSee all my reviews

The Look of Silence is such a brilliant title for this movie. For one, it's a good description of Adi's reaction when hearing about the murder of his brother. (And it's oddly fitting that he is an optometrist). It's also a description of the response they get from the perpetrators, refusing to show any guilt or remorse, preferring to pretend that it never happened. And that seems to be what Oppenheimer is tapping into in Indonesia, the look of silence, and what really lies behind it.

This is definitely a companion piece to the previous "Act of Killing". Not because it does not stand on its own, which it does, but because they stand so much stronger together. Each documentary has an unique perspective on some mutual themes. Especially guilt and remorse.

It's amazing how it all comes together in a movie like this. Oppenheimer must have done a lot of work for this. Adi is such a good subject for a documentary like this, and having him being willing to explore this dark side of his nation's history, and openly talk to the people who brutally murdered his brother - it's such an unique way to explore all of this. And Adi does a really good job with it all.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 28 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »



Release Date:

17 July 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Look of Silence See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,616, 19 July 2015

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed