The Look of Silence

The Look of Silence ★★★★½


Oppenheimer's THE ACT OF KILLING follow-up uses a blunter, equally brilliant conceptual approach for a more sedate and unsettling portrait of the Indonesian genocide and the rampant denial that has allowed the perpetrators to survive. the film doesn't get too caught up in the time-honored literary tradition of the revelatory optometrist, it's just one of the many tools Oppenheimer uses to mediate the memories... if the first film was predicated on a sensationalist feeling of HOLY SHIT, LOOK AT HOW THESE PEOPLE HAVE INTERNALIZED THEIR ATROCITIES, the second is happy to have that out of the way, free to instead consider not just what is remembered, but how we change when it is forgotten. memory is not just an act of reaching back, but a process of decay... how are these men changed by the rot of what they can recall? as dementia sets in, are they still the same men who committed these crimes, or – earned or not – have they achieved a new innocence?

i was on the edge for the last 25 minutes or so... a meeting with one of the killers with his adult daughter by his side, watching her process the information she's given... what a crucial, crucial film.

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