You might expect a Danish documentary about Indonesian war criminals executive produced by Werner Herzog and Errol Morris to be, you know, kind of dark. Let’s not mince words, you’d be right. Here’s the rundown for Act of Killing, which was just picked up for distribution by Drafthouse Films.
Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, the film ventures deep into the minds of former Indonesian death squad leaders who are challenged to reenact their real-life mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers. A 30-market theatrical release and awards campaign for Best Documentary Feature is planned for The Act Of Killing in 2013.
Chronicling one of the most overlooked genocides in recent history, The Act Of Killing utilizes dramatization to illustrate the banal state of corruption and impunity the unrepentant, locally celebrated former executioners inhabit. The film earned early praise from master documentarians Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Into The Abyss) and Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line, The Fog Of War), whose enthusiasm for the film lead to their role as Executive Producers. “I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade,” says Herzog, “it is unprecedented in the history of cinema.” Morris adds, “like all great documentaries, The Act of Killing demands another way of looking at reality…an amazing and impressive film.”
Werner Herzog bashes chickens’ heads in with a hammer to unwind, so if he calls it frightening, the rest of us are probably going to have to watch it wearing diapers. “Za feelink of za cheecken’s bludt on mein handz, za taste uff zair flat brainz, is owerwhalemink. Eez poetry.”
No word yet on when it will be released, but here’s the trailer:
The Act of Killing was produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen for one of Denmark’s leading
documentary production companies, Final Cut for Real. “Throughout the production of The Act of Killing it has been our ambition that this film should reach a theatrical audience. We are therefore extremely thrilled to collaborate with Drafthouse on the US release of the film. Drafthouse came highly recommended by other Scandinavian producers and directors and we look forward to working together on getting The Act Of Killing to the American public.”
The clip of the morning show host talking about the guy who found a more efficient way to murder communists is pretty disturbing, and yet, their Tommy Bahama shirts lead me to believe that they just wanna party.
Can I get one of those shirts without killing a guy? They look pretty sweet.