Joshua Oppenheimer’s new documentary, “The Look of Silence”, has been selected for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
“The Look of Silence”, a companion piece to his Oscar-nominated film, “The Act of Killing”, has been selected for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, where it will have its Canadian premiere. The film follows a young optometrist as he attempts to bring the past into focus. The family discovers how their son was murdered during the Indonesian genocide — as well as the identity of the men who murdered him. The film documents the confrontation in the absence of any truth and reconciliation process, while the murderers remain in power. The film is more than “the other side” of the story — it is the story of the victims, as well as a rich essay on memory, time and death. Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary “The Look of Silence” will have its world premiere in the competition at the 71st Venice Film Festival. “The Look of Silence”, a companion piece to his Oscar-nominated film, “The Act of Killing”, has been selected for this year’s Venice Film Festival, where it will have its world premiere. Produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen at Final Cut For Real, Joshua Oppenheimer’s new opus depicts the genocide in Indonesia in the mid-1960s — this time from the perspective of the victims. “The Look of Silence” follows a family who discover the perpetrators of the Indonesian genocide that murdered their son, accusing him of being a communist. Their youngest son, now an adult, vows to confront the people who took the life of his brother, asking how he can raise his children in a society where survivors are terrorised into silence. Oppenheimer describes the second act as “A lyrical elegy to this silence, but also a poem about breaking it and the trauma it represents.”
Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary “The Look of Silence”
Based on an original script by Karina Dam, Ballon tells the complex and fascinating story of two unlikely characters that happen to meet – a young prima ballerina and an elite soldier- and end up profoundly changing each other’s lives. It’s a love story where the two strong characters bound in their own ambitions and misfortunes are hit by love.
Veteran producer Per Holst explained to www.nordiskfilmogtvfond.com how the project landed on his desk: “I was co-producer on Simon and the Oaks and was really impressed by Lisa’s job on the film. I told her to come to me if she had another project in mind”.
Playing against the charismatic Følsgaard is newcomer Cecilie Lassen, a real life ballerina. Other key cast include Morten Holst (Brotherhood) and Karen-Lise Mynster. The DoP is the award-winning Lars Skree (Armadillo). The €3.1 million film produced by Asta Film in co-production with Illusion Film and Nordisk Film was supported by the Danish Film Institute and Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Svensk Filmindustri has Scandinavian rights and TrustNordisk handles world sales.
THE ACT OF KILLING nominated for 2014 Academy Award
Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary THE ACT OF KILLING was just announced as one of 5 Academy Award nominated films for Best documentary feature.
THE ACT OF KILLING nominated for OSCAR 2014 Academy Award
The director, Joshua Oppenheimer says the following after the nomination: We are deeply grateful to be nominated for an Academy Award. This nomination is more than an honor for us as filmmakers. In a few months, Indonesians will go to the polls to choose their next president. With leading candidates personally responsible for crimes against humanity, and glorifying a history of genocide to build a climate of fear, there is a very real risk that the country will backslide toward military dictatorship. This nomination will put the film, and the issues of impunity that it raises, on the front pages of Indonesian newspapers — at a time when Indonesians must urgently debate how impunity for mass murder has led to a moral vacuum of fear, corruption, and thuggery.
The Act of Killing would not exist without the survivors of the 1965 genocide, who courageously defied army threats to tell us their stories, and inspired us to make this film. Nor would it exist without my anonymous Indonesian crew – and especially my anonymous co-director. They gave eight years of their lives to make this film, knowing that unless there is real political change in Indonesia, they could not take credit for their work. May this nomination encourage the Indonesian government finally to acknowledge the 1965 genocide — and the present-day regime of fear built upon it — as a moral catastrophe. May it encourage ordinary Indonesians to demand that their leaders be held accountable for their crimes – be they genocide, corruption, or the use of thugs to do their dirty work. And may it inspire all Indonesians to work together for truth, justice, and reconciliation.
The anonymous co-director says the following:
An Academy Award nomination for The Act of Killing is a great honor for us, the film�s anonymous Indonesian crew, because it is a call to remember everything that has been forgotten or hidden over the course of humanity�s long and dark history.
In Indonesia, we hope that this nomination will remind the public that the truth has not yet been brought to light, justice has not yet been served, an apology has not yet been uttered, victims have not yet been rehabilitated (let alone compensated). Discrimination against survivors continues. An official history that remains silent on the atrocities (yet glorifies the extermination of the communists in general terms), is still taught to our children. The government continues to anoint architects of the genocide as national heroes. All this to keep people paralysed by fear, so that ordinary Indonesians dare not hold them accountable for wanton corruption.
We hope that this nomination will remind us — and all human beings everywhere — always to fight against forgetting.