Look of Silence, The

Joshua Oppenheimer

Bereaved by the Indonesian anti-communist genocide, courageous Adi confronts unrepentant murderers in this companion piece to Joshua Oppenheimer’s much-praised film The Act of Killing.

Adi is born in February 1968, over two years after the murder of his brother Ramli. Adi watches footage from Oppenheimer’s interviews with the responsible death squad members. The interviewees admit to being under the command of the Indonesian army and – often smiling – show in detail where and how they murdered their prisoners, including Ramli.

Adi personally confronts the guilty parties, but time and again they point to others, angrily cut the conversation short or threaten him with violence. Oppenheimer’s breathtaking cinematography features Adi’s house, where he lives with his elderly parents and his children, as a calm oasis of picturesque beauty. Though undeniably courageous, Adi, the optometrist hoping to bring history into sharper focus for the perpetrators as well, refuses to share his address with them out of fear for reprisals. For similar reasons, many Indonesian film crew members appear anonymously in the credits.

The Act of Killing opened the Movies that Matter Festival in 2013. Movies that Matter also funded underground screenings of the film in Indonesia.


Joshua Oppenheimer
Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Norway, United Kingdom
99 minutes
crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, political killings & disappearances, truth commissions & historical investigation