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The Look of Silence

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Through Joshua Oppenheimer’s work filming perpetrators of the Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered and the identity of the men who killed him. The youngest brother is determined to break the spell of silence and fear under which the survivors live, and so confronts the men responsible for his brother’s murder – something unimaginable in a country where killers remain in power.

 

Running Time: 99 min.
Subject(s): Asian Studies, Cinema, Conflicts, Ethnography, Family, Genocide, Human Rights, Investigative Journalism, Law and Justice, Politics, Society
Language(s): Indonesian, Javanese
Subtitles: English
Director(s):
Producer(s): Signe Byrge Sørensen
Editor(s): Niels Pagh Andersen
Production Company: Final Cut for Real

Press

  • The Guardian
    5 out of 5 "...this film is just as piercingly and authentically horrifying as before. It is filmed with exactly the same superb visual sense, the same passionate love of the Indonesian landscape, and dialogue exchanges are captured with the same chilling crispness."
    Peter Bradshaw
  • Time Out New York
    5 out of 5 "A superior work of confrontational boldness... Essential"
    Joshua Rothkopf
  • Variety
    "So involving is the raw content of The Look of Silence that some might view its formal elegance as mere luxury, yet the film reveals Oppenheimer to be a documentary stylist of evolving grace and sophistication."
    Guy Lodge
  • The Hollywood Reporter
    "Every bit as frank and shocking as last year's The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer's ground-breaking documentary about the men behind the brutal murder of some one million Indonesians in the mid-Sixties in the name of a Communist purge, The Look of Silence is perhaps even more riveting for focusing on one man’s personal search for answers as he bravely confronts his brother's killers."
    Deborah Young
  • Screen International
    "...A gripping but also often tense and uncomfortable viewing experience..."
    Lee Marshall
  • Jakarta Globe: Front page article
    "Joshua Oppenheimer, the director of the award-winning documentary 'The Act of Killing,' about the 1965-66 anti-communist purge in Indonesia, has struck again with his follow-up film 'The Look of Silence,' which last week won the Grand Jury Prize at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival... For the survivors, just the recognition that they were never villains is enough."
    Adelia Anjani Putri
  • Cine Vue
    5 out of 5 "Oppenheimer and his anonymous collaborators are to be roundly applauded for bringing this appalling moment in history to light."
    John Bleasdale
  • Indie Wire
    "A portrait in courage and moral integrity, and pretty brilliant filmmaking"
    Tom Christie
  • CPH Post
    "The photography this time qualifies The Look Of Silence as a truly cinematic experience, one in which its raw emotional power is matched by its beauty."
    Mark Walker
  • Screen Daily
    Look of Silence wins top prize at CPH:DOX (screening over 200 films). Jury included David Wilson, Laurence Reymond, Kidlat Thaimik, Lilibeth Cuenca and Nelly Ben Hayoun
    Wendy Mitchell
  • CNN
    "'The Look of Silence': The film making Indonesia face its brutal history... It shows just how far Indonesia has to go before it can be called a genuine democracy with rule of law."
    Dean Irvince
  • Slate
    "For all their aesthetic beauty, both The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence occupy an unsure place on the continuum of cultural forms. Are they works of art? Taped confessions? Symbolic tribunals? Whatever it is that Oppenheimer and his anonymous co-director on both films—an Indonesian hiding his or her identity for fear of reprisals—have made, if it’s playing in a theater near you, go see it."
    Dana Stevens
  • Filmoria
    "The follow-up to last year's The Act of Killing is as disturbing as it is mesmerizing, and replaces the weirdness and humor of the first film with emotional turmoil of a victim's family"
    Lesley Coffin in Cinema Reviews
  • "This slow, somber production with its sense of quiet rage over injustice has great cumulative power, delivering a universal message of just how much a society can be damaged by ignoring its dark history. Recommended."
    Video Librarian
  • Steven Zeitchik
    "...the result is no less stunning, an encounter with the banality of evil in the most visceral way. Watching survivors come to terms with their pain is hard enough; watching them as they seek answers from those who inflicted it is riveting, disturbing and eye-opening."
    Los Angeles Times
  • "The film shows unfathomable courage in the face of unfathomable evil"
    Scott Tobias
  • "A riveting, poetic film"
    Noel Murray
  • "The Look of Silence is profound, visionary, and stunning."
    Werner Herzog
  • "One of the greatest and most powerful documentaries ever made. A profound comment on the human condition."
    Errol Morris

Festival Participation

  • Venice FIlm Festival - 2014
    Grand Jury Prize Winner
  • telluride Film festival - 2014
  • Toronto Film Festival - 2014
  • Helsinki Film Festival - 2014
  • New York Film Festival - 2014
  • CPH:DOX - 2014
    DOX: AWARD Main Competition Grand Prize Winner
  • IDFA - 2014
  • Busan International Film Festival - 2014
    Best World Documentary
  • Starz Denver Film Festival - 2014
    Best Documentary Prize of the Danish Arts Council
  • Tromso International Film Festival - 2015
    Don Quixote Prize
  • Gothenburg Film Festival - 2015
    Dragon Award for Best Nordic Documentary
  • True/False Film Festival - 2015
    True Life Fund Recipient
  • Berlinale - 2015
    Peace Film Prize winner
  • SXSW - 2015
    Audience Award Winner, Best Film, Festival Favorites
  • Festival d'Angers - 2015
    Audience Award - Best Film
  • Festival de Cinéma Valenciennes - 2015
    Grand Prix du Jury, Prix de la Critique, Prix Étudiants,
  • Sofia International Film Festival - 2015
    Best Documentary
  • Prague One World Film Festival - 2015
    Best Film
  • Victoria Film Festival - 2015
    Best Documentary
  • Danish Film Academy 2015 - 2015
    Robert Prize Award for Best Long Documentary
  • 2015 Danish Film Critics’ Award - 2015
    (Bodil Prize) for Best Documentary
  • Sheffield Doc/Fest - Audience Award - Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015
    Audience Award
  • Burma Human Rights Documentary Film Festival - 2015
    Aung San Suu Kyi Award
  • Documenta Madrid - 2015
    Audience Award
  • Docs Barcelona - 2015
    Audience Award, Amnesty International Award
  • Movies That Matter Festival - 2015
    Audience Award
  • Vilnius International Film Festival - 2015
    Best Director (Baltic Gaze)
  • Docs Against Gravity - Warsaw - 2015
    Amnesty International Award
  • Subversive Film Festival - 2015
    Wild Dreamer Award
  • NordicDocs - 2015
    Special Jury Prize
  • River Run Film Festival - 2015
    Best Director (Documentary)
  • Uruguay International Film Festival - 2015
    Best Film - Cine de Derechos Humanos
  • Calgary Underground Film Festival - 2015
    Best Documentary

Distribution Company

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