After seeing an early one-hour-long cut of director Joshua Oppenheimer‘s documentary The Act Of Killing, Errol Morris and Werner Herzog both immediately signed on as executive producers. A brilliant yet terrifying work, the film challenges former Indonesian death squad leaders to reenact their real-life mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.
The doc is chalking up rave reviews left, right, and center, with currently a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 89/100 on Metacritic. The Playlist’s Jessica Kiang even awarded the film an incredibly rare A+, and in a recent story published in The Playlist, writer Cory Everett describes how Kiang and her brother were in attendance for a private screening of the film in Indonesia (a decision made by the producers fearing that the film would be banned in the country if screened publicly). Included in their story is a VICE feature interview with Herzog and Morris which you can watch below. Herzog recently said: “I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade. Unprecedented in the history of cinema. There won’t be another documentary like ‘The Act Of Killing’ for 50 years.”
And in their glowing review of the film, COLLIDER‘s Phil Brown writes: “[Oppenheimer] isn’t someone simply interested in shock value. He’s a filmmaker fascinated by the darkest and oddest extremes of the human condition. ‘The Act Of Killing’ certainly goes to places few films have managed before and hopefully it’s not a project destined to live and die on the festival circuit. It’s something audiences need to see, even if they won’t exactly enjoy the experience in any conventional sense.” The Act Of Killing is currently playing in New York and Los Angeles, and will open in limited release across North America in the months ahead. For updates on the film be sure to visit TheActOfKilling.com, and follow the film on Facebook and Twitter.
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