Joshua Oppenheimer

Joshua Oppenheimer & Anonymous & Christine Cynn – The Act of Killing [Dir. Cut + Commentary] (2012)

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In The Act Of Killing, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and executive produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, the filmmakers expose a corrupt regime that celebrates death squad leaders as heroes.

When the Indonesian government was overthrown in 1965, small-time gangster Anwar Congo and his friends went from selling movie tickets on the black market to leading death squads in the mass murder of over a million opponents of the new military dictatorship. Anwar boasts of killing hundreds with his own hands, but he’s enjoyed impunity ever since, and has been celebrated by the Indonesian government as a national hero. Read More »

Joshua Oppenheimer – The Look of Silence (2014)

Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence is a stunning companion piece, or possibly narrative development, to that extraordinary 2012 documentary The Act Of Killing. Its enigmatic title may indicate the numb silence which is the only possibly reaction to a certain kind of savagery and inhumanity, but perhaps mean the way that a nation sees but not see, sees in such a selective and slanted way as to suppress meaning, sees in such a way as to smother dissent into silence. Read More »

Joshua Oppenheimer – Early Works – A Collection of 12 Films (1995 – 2003)

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Joshua Oppenheimer is one of the world’s most renowned documentary filmmakers. His multi award-winning films The Act of Killing (2012) and The Look of Silence (2014) have challenged and redefined perceptions about the very nature of documentary cinema.

Dušan Makavejev on THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE.

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Joshua Oppenheimer – The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase (1998)

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“In Louisiana Purchase I wanted to examine the whole question of historical memory, the making of history…”
— Joshua Oppenheimer

The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase is an imaginative and innovative film essay which combines faux and real documentary with lyrical fiction to paint a monstrous yet beautiful portrait of America at the end of the millennium. With unflinching originality, the film meditates humorously on faith, myth, scapegoats, the idea of the alien, the end of the world, and the beginnings of redemption…. Oppenheimer’s monstrous yet charming ‘history of my country’ is written by a poet, sweet and dark, joyous as the wet rats who save themselves from drowning in the film’s last sequence…. It opens a genre of film as revelatory and intelligent dream, stimulant of social memory, and means for re-examining the relationship between fact and fiction, historical truth and social myth.
– Dusan Makavejev, May 1997 Read More »

Joshua Oppenheimer & Anonymous & Christine Cynn – The Act of Killing (2012)

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The Act of Killing (Indonesian: ”Jagal”) is a 2012 documentary film directed by Joshua Oppenheimer

When Sukarno was overthrown by Suharto following the tragic 30 September Movement in 1965, Anwar and his friends were promoted from small-time gangsters who sold movie theatre tickets on the black market to death squad leaders. They helped the army kill more than one million alleged communists, ethnic Chinese, and intellectuals. As the executioner for the most notorious death squad in his city, Anwar himself killed hundreds of people with his own hands.

Today, Anwar is revered as a founding father of a right-wing paramilitary organization that grew out of the death squads. The organization is so powerful that its leaders include government ministers, and they are happy to boast about everything from corruption and election rigging to genocide. Read More »