Wednesday, 10 July 2013

REVIEW - THE ACT OF KILLING


You need search no longer. We turn to the artists, the fantasists, the creators of wonder and magic and fiction, for the truth within ourselves. And they fashion replicas of that truth, filtered through the tissues of art with which they have embellished this truth, or as they have understood it. But there will always be limitation in this search for truth. Truth is truth, reality is reality, and we must turn the camera back on ourselves to discover it. Turning the camera on the celebrated perpetrators of mass murder, the rich, powerful, celebrity criminals, to relive (through their own artistic replicas of the truth) what heinous acts they committed almost 50 years ago... here is all you need to know about truth. Their tales, recanted with breathtaking candour, often even pride, are as extraordinary as you will ever hear, in every layer, in every detail. And, in their crude, pompous, bizarre reenactments, they are immensely revealing. Revealing about the truth of what happened in Indonesia in 1965, revealing about what has happened in Indonesia since, revealing about the psyches of those involved, revealing about the psyches of those not involved: me, you, the world entire. What we are capable of doing, what we are capable of denying, suppressing, faking. And what does admission mean, to view our lives in retrospect, to repeat and to reassess? What do we learn in that process? The last few scenes of this astounding documentary are as enlightening and yet as mysterious as any scenes I have witnessed in film. They turn the camera back on ourselves.