December 8, 2013: THE ACT OF KILLING named Best Documentary at the European Film Awards
On December 7 The Act of Killing, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, received the great honour of being named the Best Documentary at the European Film Awards. The awards are given based on votes cast by members of the European Film Academy.
Director Joshua Oppenheimer, co-director Christine Cynn and producer Signe Byrge Sørensen were in Berlin for the ceremony. In his acceptance speech, Joshua Oppenheimer dedicated the prize to his Anonymous Indonesian crew, and especially to his Anonymous Indonesian co-director.
See more at the European Film Awards website.
November 11, 2013: THE ACT OF KILLING wins the 2013 PUMA Impact Award
Last night “The Act of Killing” was announced as the winner of the 2013 PUMA Impact Award, at a ceremony held at the TimesCenter in New York City.
The PUMA Impact Award celebrates and supports the documentary film that has made the most significant positive impact on society or the environment each year. Director Joshua Oppenheimer, co-director Christine Cynn and producer Signe Byrge Sørensen were present to accept the award.
The shortlist of five documentaries also included “Bully,” “Give Up Tomorrow,” “The Interrupters” and “The Invisible War,” were judged by an independent jury representing the worlds of film, the arts, and social change including activist and actress Susan Sarandon, actor and director Gael García Bernal, Avaaz Executive Director Ricken Patel, American journalist and author Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation, Command and Control) and Zadie Smith, Orange Prize-winning author.
The Jury said of the winning film: “The Act of Killing” is a staggering and unique work of art that stands above time and place and will enrich and empower everyone who has the privilege to see it for many years to come. Its brave brilliance has already led to tremendous impact, almost single handedly opening the painful dialogue on Indonesia’s genocide, which claimed over one million lives. As a film, it has the potential to change the genre, and as art, it resurrects the deep insight into our nature offered by the “banality of evil”. In doing so, its impact moves well beyond Indonesia, providing a contribution to all humanity”.
The Jury’s Special Commendation went to “The Invisible War,” directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering.
See more at Britdoc’s website.
September 30, 2013: The Act of Killing available for free download in Indonesia
Drafthouse, Vice, VHX are partnering with Final Cut for Real and director Joshua Oppenheimer to release The Act Of Killing for free to all people of Indonesia from September 30, 2013.
“The history of the 1965 genocide is your history. For that reason, we are giving our film to you on September 30, the anniversary of the start of the atrocities. We want you to screen it, discuss it, distribute it to friends across the archipelago. I made this film in collaboration with over 60 anonymous Indonesians who, like you, wanted to know the truth about their history, and to understand how impunity for past atrocities underpins a present day regime of corruption, thuggery, and terror. We worked together for seven years to open a space in which you can discuss these issues without fear, in the hope that it will help you in your struggle for truth, reconciliation, and justice.”
- Director Joshua Oppenheimer
Visit www.actofkilling.com to download the film (only from within Indonesia)
June 28, 2013: UK release today – The reviews are in!
FILM OF THE WEEK ***** Time Out
Simply the best film of the year ***** Metro
The Act of Killing is like no movie seen before ***** Financial Times Financial Time
This might be the most important documentary ever ***** Daily Mail
A gut-churning film: and a radical dive into history ***** The Guardian
You’ve never seen a documentary like The Act of Killing **** The Daily Telegraph
Essential viewing ***** Daily Mirror
**** The Independent
**** The Times
June 19, 2013: Aung San Suu Kyi Award for The Act of Killing
We are immensely happy and proud that The Act of Killing has received the Aung San Suu Kyi Award for Best Documentary Film at the Human Rights, Human Dignity Film Festival in Myanmar.
The festival’s core mission is to promote human rights awareness in Burma/Myanmar by using the power of film, the persuasive strength of audiovisual communication and to create a space for encouraging human rights discussions amongst the general public in Burma/Myanmar.
The award was received by Daniel Pye on behalf of Joshua Oppenheimer.
The jury gave the following statement:
“The Jury recognizes a cinematic masterwork, filled with multiple levels of humour, panache, outrageous flair and style, theatrics and cinematics. It is a film with a serious intent which touches on a raw nerve in the country where it was made, but has also helped begin a national dialogue in that society. In 1965, the Indonesian army took power by force. Gangsters in the local underworld, death squads and regime representatives murdered more than a million alleged communists, ethnic Chinese and intellectuals. Remarkably, the filmmakers were able to work collaboratively with some of these perpetrators, mass murderers and former unit leaders to make this remarkable film, to document and re-enact those crimes. They transpose these into theatrical and fictional forms. The goal is to begin a dialogue on the precarious road to reconciliation. They process guilt through the lens of personal and social responsibility. The perpetrators undergo a form of catharsis and repentance.
The film mixes elements of documentary, bombastic re-creations, spectacle, satire, movie clichés, extravaganza, and irony. It is achieved with the highest standards of cinematic storytelling. It is a film which is not only critical of brutal actions in the past, but also examines the resonance of those actions on Indonesian society today, by exposing current forces and organizations which would easily threaten to mobilize and recruit people to support similar super-nationalist, ex-judicial and militarist thinking. In that way, the film is both a reflection and a warning.
The International Jury gives the first Aung San Suu Kyi Award to a Danish, Norwegian and British coproduction, the feature-length documentary THE ACT OF KILLING”.
June 18, 2013: The Act of Killing – UK release & Director’s Tour
The Act of Killing will be released in UK cinemas on the 28th June 2013, and director Joshua Oppenheimer will be taking the documentary on a tour of UK cinemas to take part in Q&A sessions following special screenings. All of the showings on the Director’s Tour will be the directors cut version of the film and tickets are now on sale
Find all the UK cinemas showing The Act of Killing and more information on the special directors tour screenings at theactofkilling.co.uk
June 16, 2013: TThe Act of Killing wins prizes at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Grimstad Film Festival, Biografilm Festival and RAI Film Festival
It’s been an amazing weekend for The Act of Killing, resulting in 4 awards:
Sheffield Doc/Fest – Special Jury Award (Grand Prize)
Grimstad International Short & Documentary Film Festival, Norway – Golden Chair for Best Documentary
Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival, Edinburgh - Basil Wright Award
Biografilm Festival, Bologna, Italy – Grand Prize
We are so proud and happy that the film continues to move audiences all over the world.
June 5, 2013: The Act of Killing wins the Grand Prize at DocsBarcelona
Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary THE ACT OF KILLING continues its successful festival run, this weekend winning the Grand Prize at the 16th edition of DocsBarcelona.
The festival ended on Sunday June 3rd, where it was revealed that a unanimous jury had selected THE ACT OF KILLING as the recipient of the DocsBarcelona Best Film Award.
The jury gave the following statement: “For the overwhelming power and distinctive style denouncing torture and murder in a totalitarian regime, an issue still current nowadays, unfortunately”.
May 19, 2013: The Act of Killing wins Audience Award & Grand Prix of Lower Silesia at Planete Doc in Warsaw
The Act of Killing was overwhelmingly well received at the Planete+ Doc Festival in Warsaw, Poland, winning both the Audience Award of the festival (sponsored by the documentary channel Planete + and the digital platform NC +) as well as the Grand Prix of Lower Silesia.
May 12, 2013: The Act of Killing wins two awards at Documenta Madrid
Joshua Oppenheimer’s festival hit THE ACT OF KILLING scored a double victory at Documenta Madrid (the International Documentary Festival in Madrid), winning both the First Prize of the Jury and the Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary, with an audience vote of 8.34.
Co-director Christine Cynn was present at the award ceremony in Madrid on Sunday May 12.
The jury gave the following statement when awarding the First Prize of the Jury:
“We award the first prize to a film that raised considerable controversy and succeeded at making us feel extremely uncomfortable through a unique construction of fantasy and horror that elicits a brutal reality that remains in impunity”
March 31, 2013: Awards for the Act of Killing
Joshua Oppenheimer’s critically acclaimed documentary “The Act of Killing” continues its tour of the festival circuit, and we are very proud that the film is getting awards from juries and audiences all over the world.
The film has won the Grand Prize at CPH:DOX, One World Human Rights Film Festival in Prague and at Festival de Cinéma Valenciennes (where it also received a Special Mention from the Critic’s Jury).
The audiences chose The Act of Killing as their favourite at The Berlin International Film Festival and at FICUNAM in Mexico.
Awards received in other sections include Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (Berlin Int. Film Festival), Prize of the SIYAD jury -Turkish Film Critics’ Association (!F Istanbul Independent Film Festival), Movies that Matter Award (ZagrebDox), Gilda Vieira de Mello Prize (Geneva International Human Rights Film Festival)
We are also very proud that the Danish Film Academy awarded the film with the prize for Best Feature Documentary, and that the Danish Film Critics Association gave The Act of Killing a Special Prize (Sær-Bodil).
We are very, very grateful, and are looking forward to the film reaching even more audiences, and hopefully making a change.
February 28, 2013: The Act of Killing wins Danish Film Academy’s award for Best Feature Documentary
On Thursday February 28 “The Act of Killing” received the Danish Film Academy’s award for Best Feature Documentary.
We are overjoyed and thankful!
Click here to watch the acceptance speech by Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen.
And click here to read the Danish Film Academy’s full list of awards and nominees.
February 16, 2013: The Act of Killing receives two awards at the Berlinale
Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary “The Act of Killing” that screened at this years Berlinale in the Panorama section, has won the Audience Award as well as the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.
The Audience Award will be given out at a ceremony on Sunday February 17, followed by an extra screening of the film.
The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury was awarded Saturday february 16 at an awards ceremony for the Independent Juries of the festival, and according to the Berlinale website the prize goes to “directors who have succeeded in portraying actions or human experiences that are in keeping with the Gospels, or in sensitising viewers to spiritual, human or social values.”
The jury praised the film for the present-day value it brought to an historical event and continued to say that “this deeply unsettling film exposes the evil mass murders which took place in Indonesia in 1965 and reveals the monstrosity of these crimes. It re-opens a deep wound with the conviction that it is worthwhile to unearth such atrocities”.
Here follows the acceptance speech for the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, by director Joshua Openheimer:
“The perpetrators we filmed in Indonesia destroyed other human beings for money and for power. This greed, unfortunately, is all too human. After killing people, the perpetrators felt trauma, even remorse. This, too, is human. And so they needed excuses, propaganda, so that they could live with themselves, so that they could kill again, and then go on to build a regime on the basis of terror, lies, and the celebration of mass murder.
The new dictatorship quickly obliged, making up lies to rationalize what they had done. Through these lies emerged a distorted morality to justify evil, even to celebrate it.
Among the most effective of these lies is that the victims were atheists, and that non-believers have no place among the living. The killers themselves know that their victims were not atheists. And we know that it does not matter. But in Indonesia, atheism is still equated with evil. And this remains a pillar in the justification of genocide. THE ACT OF KILLING has been accused of being a film by and for atheists.
Since International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2012, The Act of Killing has screened hundreds of times in Indonesia, in more than 90 cities. It has helped give rise to a national conversation in which, finally, the silence around the genocide has been broken, and Indonesians are openly discussing how today’s regime of corruption and fear is built on a mountain of corpses. Necessarily, the distorted morality, in which the victims are represented as “evil” atheists, is starting to crumble.
We thank the Ecumenical Jury for this prize: it is an important contribution to our effort to break the silence. In itself, this award exposes lies that have, for so long, been used to justify crimes against humanity, to stigmatize survivors, to keep people afraid. Your decision to give this award to THE ACT OF KILLING confirms that when religion is used as a justification for crimes against humanity, it has lost its moral foundation.
We thank you. Indonesia thanks you.”
December 18, 2012: The Act of Killing selected for Berlin Film Festival
We are proud to announce that The Act of Killing, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, has been selected for the 2013 edition of the Berlinale, taking place February 7-17.
The Act of Killing will screen in the Panorama programme.
November 10, 2012: The Act of Killing wins the Grand Prize at CPH:DOX 2012
We are extremely happy that The Act of Killing last night was awarded the DOX:AWARD at CPH:DOX 2012.
The team would like to express their deepest gratitude to all who worked to make this film, and who have embraced it in Indonesia, Denmark, and around the world. We are grateful.
October 10, 2012: “The Act of Killing” will open this year’s CPH:DOX
We are proud to announce that “The Act of Killing” will be the opening film at CPH:DOX 2012.
The film will be screened at the opening gala event on October 30, at Koncerthuset in DR-Byen in Copenhagen.
Tine Fischer, festival director for CPH:DOX says the following about the film: “The Act of Killing’ is like nothing else I have seen. It is radical in its political analysis and criticism, it is progressive in its combination of genres; gangster drama, glossy musical and surreal psychotic drama. And it sits with you in a way that is inescapable. It will become a film which will receive a prominent place in film history, and a film that everyone should see. Not only those with a particular interest in political documentary, but everyone who has the courage to face “the heart of darkness”. It never becomes black and white because even the most hardened executioner can be confronted with his own lies.”
For more about the festival: Click here to visit CPH:DOX’s website
September 18, 2012: “Praise for “The Act of Killing”
After the screenings at Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival there has been extensive coverage of the film and the reception of the film has been even more overwhelming than we ever could have imagined.
Here are some examples:
- A five-star review in The Guardian says The Act of Killing is “the best, and most horrific, film of this year’s Toronto film festival…every frame is astonishing.”
- Indiewire calls THE ACT OF KILLING “the Most Unsettling Movie About Mass Killing Since ‘Shoah’”
- The Wrap writes: “A banality-of-evil portrait that culminates in an unforgettable realization of culpability and conscience among the otherwise remorseless killers.”
- LA Times: The Act of Killing is “surreal, disturbing, timeless… Could well change how you view the documentary form…”
- Movie City News writes of The Act of Killing: “Really, you need to see this movie. You just do. It’s one of the most compelling, riveting docs I’ve ever seen; I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and I’ll bet you haven’t either.”
And Canada’s Maclean’s magazine calls “shattering” Act of Killing the best film of Toronto International Film Festival.
For the full reviews and articles: Click here to go to The Act of Killing’s website
September 4, 2012: The Act of Killing selected for the prestigious Telluride Film Festival in Colorado
“The Act of Killing”, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, co-directed by Christine Cynn & Anonymous and produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen, have
been selected for the prestigious Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, taking place from the 31 August to 3 September.
In a country where killers are celebrated as heroes, the filmmakers challenge unrepentant death squad leaders to dramatise their role in genocide. The hallucinatory result is a cinematic fever dream, an unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass-murderers and
the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit.
Juli 31, 2012: “The Act of Killing” selected for Toronto International Film Festival 2012
We are happy to announce that our new documentary “The Act of Killing”, which is directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, co-directed by Christine Cynn & Anonymous and produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen, has been selected for Toronto International Film Festival 2012.
In a country where killers are celebrated as heroes, the filmmakers challenge unrepentant death squad leaders to dramatise their role in genocide. The hallucinatory result is a cinematic fever dream, an unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass-murderers and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit.
Toronto International Film Festival takes place from September 6-16, 2012.