The Look of Silence

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Denmark | 2014 | 102 minutes | Joshua Oppenheimer

In his follow-up to The Act of Killing (SIFF 2013), Joshua Oppenheimer returns to Indonesia’s killing fields as the relative of a man executed during the 1965-66 genocide confronts the murderers, ending decades of numbed silence.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

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Two years ago, director Joshua Oppenheimer riveted and appalled Seattle audiences with The Act of Killing (SIFF 2013), a truly unique documentary that convinced the surviving perpetrators of the brutal Indonesian genocide of 1965-66 to re-enact their crimes against humanity in a series of absurd pantomimes of death. In The Look of Silence, Oppenheimer returns to the killing fields to analyze the violence from another angle – the viewpoint of the victims’ relatives, who have kept silent about the atrocities for 50 years. The documentary follows Adi, an ophthalmologist who was born just after his brother Ramli was killed by roving gangs of anti-Communist death squads sanctioned by President Suharto. Oppenheimer tracked down the unrepentant militia members who had wielded machetes on Ramli and countless others and who still giggle about their butchery as if it were a mere youthful indiscretion. Adi, showing enormous poise, restraint, and courage, later confronts Ramli’s killers and asks them about their past – all while performing eye exams on them. The Look of Silence, a shocking, utterly absorbing companion to Oppenheimer’s 2012 masterpiece, is an unflinching examination of the moral blind spot that still shadows Indonesia today and obscures wounds that have yet to heal after half a century.

Director Biography
Director Joshua Oppenheimer, now based in Denmark, was born in Texas and studied filmmaking at Harvard and Central Saint Martins, in London. Chiefly known for his companion documentaries on the Indonesian genocide, The Act of Killing (2012) and The Look of Silence (2014), he is also a senior researcher on the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Genocide and Genre project.

Sponsored by Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund, Delta Air Lines

  • Original Language Title: Senyap
  • Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
  • Principal Cast: Adi Rukun
  • Country: Denmark, Indonesia, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom
  • Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 102 minutes
  • Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen
  • Cinematographers: Lars Skree
  • Editors: Nils Pagh Andersen
  • Music: Seri Banang, Mana Tahan
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Venice Film Festival 2014 (Grand Jury Prize, FIPRESCI Prize), Busan International Film Festival 2014 (Best World Documentary), Berlin Film Festival 2015 (Peace Film Prize), SXSW 2015 (Audience Award Winner), Danish Academy Award 2015 (Best Documentary)
  • Filmography: The Act of Killing (2012), The Globalization Tapes (2003)
  • Language: Indonesian, Javanese
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Cinephil