IASH Documentary Series 2017

The Act of Killing

(2012, 120 mins)

Directed by: Joshua Oppenheimer & Christine Cynn

This tantalizing documentary follows former leaders of a North Sumatran death squad, responsible for several horrific mass killings during 1965-66. The perpetrators discuss their experiences openly, even boastfully, and largely without condemnation. Unlike other genocidaires, they have not been made to admit participation in crimes against humanity and continue to celebrate their recent history within a culture of impunity. During interviews, Oppenheimer invites the perpetrators to film re-enactments of their acts of violence, recreating their own roles as well as that of victims. This culminates in surreal and theatrical dramatizations of interrogations, torture, and executions, where tensions quickly arise concerning how their past should be negotiated.

Through inviting perpetrators to write, direct, and act out their stories, 'The Act of Killing' offers insight to the imaginative processes through which individuals persecute one another, and how we go on to live in societies built on enduring violence.  

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Dr Patrick Jory (HaPI) and Kirsten Slemint (SCA) with plenty of opportunity for Q&A with the audience.

Tuesday 19th September, 4pm
Seminar Room 402, Level 4 Forgan Smith Tower, UQ


Seminar Room, Level 4 Forgan Smith Tower (Building #1)