The Look of Silence

2014

Action / Biography / Documentary / History

17
IMDb Rating 8.3 10 10444

Synopsis


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833.23 MB
1280*714
English
PG - 13
25 fps
1hr 43 min
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1.58 GB
1920*1072
English
PG - 13
25 fps
1hr 43 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bryank-04844 10 / 10

I have no doubt that 'The Look of Silence' will win more awards this year.

I didn't think it was possible to outdo one of the most compelling documentaries about the atrocious Indonesian killings during the mid 60s, but never say never. Joshua Oppenheimer set out over the last decade or so to confront and interview the mass murderers and victims of the Indonesian killings. Oppenheimer got Errol Morris and Werner Herzog on board to to produce his documentary, which was called 'The Act of Killing'.

'The Act of Killing' followed a few of these mass murderers who killed literally thousands of innocent people over the span of a year or two. These people were men, women, and children who were thought to be communists. These victims weren't just shot in the head, but they were sadistically tortured and killed by a variety of ways. These murderers are still alive today and are considered heroes by the government, but are still feared by the common folk. It truly is unbelievable that the Indonesian government and paramilitary are still alive and well today, and are still in power, where these murderers walk free with no remorse.

'The Act of Killing' earned an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary. Needless to say, this documentary didn't shed any good light on the Indonesian government nor the military, but Oppenheimer went back to make a follow up documentary, because his story is far from being over, which brings us to 'The Look of Silence'. This documentary is just as good if not better than 'The Act of Killing' and will draw tears and actually keep you on the edge of your seat for fear of Oppenheimer's life and his subject.

'The Look of Silence' follows a single family, living in a small village in the heart of where the genocide of the 60s took place. The youngest son named Adi, who wasn't born at the time, now has a family and helps people with their eye glass prescriptions. Adi sets out to confront the mass murderers who tortured and killed his older brother Ramli. His bottomless devotion doesn't stop at confronting these people, but goes further into trying to get everyone in his country to seek the truth and start admitting what actually happened, because as we saw in 'The Act of Killing', the people in power will never admit to anything. It brings tears to my eyes as Adi uses his very calm demeanor, holding back his own tears and big gulps of breath as he tries to get answers and the killers to admit what they had done.

Throughout the film, Adi confronts the killers who were concomitantly involved with his brother's death, then later in the film, he talks with the murderers who actually killed him. Each interview is more suspenseful than the one before it, as these people who are still in power are not too happy to be answering questions about this, which none of them actually want to come to terms with what they did. In fact, they still revel in the fact that they committed all these heinous crimes and consider themselves good people. It's all so heartbreaking as Adi begins to put the pieces together of his brother's death and who actually was involved, which hits closer to home than any of us would like to see.

Adi is a simple man, but he is one of strong conviction to seek the truth without being a jerk. He is calm, collected, and always wise with his words and actions. He's a deeply exceptional person, and you can't help by connect with him on this very emotional journey. Oppenheimer is always by his side and with his camera, as he takes in the beautiful landscapes of Indonesia with his artistic eye. Almost every scene is a beautiful painting with so much pain behind it. I have no doubt that 'The Look of Silence' will win more awards this year, and this continues to show us the Joshua Oppenheimer is one of the best documentary filmmakers working today.

Reviewed by bhudson-3 10 / 10

Amazing - must see - Adi is a standout individual

Focussing on a single family who during what is now known as a genocide in the late 1960s, who lost their eldest son. Adi, who wasn't born at that time, has a deep and personal commitment to not just finding answers that his whole family was asking, but to setting his country on a path of truth and reconciliation.

Amazingly, the perpetrators of the genocide were still in positions of power. The interview showed Adi time and again facing perpetrators of the genocide – those indirectly involved with his brother's killing – and later with those who were directly involved.

Throughout the documentary, Adi showed his calm nature, even when tested and even when displaying his resilience and determination to hear the truth. While steps were taken to protect Adi, thinly veiled threats to his safety where made – leaving the viewer in no doubt that he had literally put his life on the line.

Adi in person, at the Q&A session after the showing at Telluride, his answers (translated by director Joshua), his persona and his body language conveyed a disarming softness, a humbleness and an absolute commitment to the truth and reconciliation of his country.

I was honored to shake Adi's hand, to exchange a few words of greeting.

There is no doubt in my mind that I was in the presence of someone very special, someone who through his own deep and personal commitment was in the process of making the world a better place.

Reviewed by JoshuaDysart 9 / 10

Oppenheimer is the Most Important Documentarian of his Generation

With just two films to his name, both about the Indonesian mass-murders of the mid-1960's Oppenheimer has become the most important documentarian of his generation.

His second film, "The Look of Silence", coupled with his "The Act of Killing" has created a sea- change in the Indonesian truth, justice and reconciliation movement. Forcing new laws to be written and putting the government in a defensive position against the nation's media.

But Oppenheimer is more than an activist. He's an artist. His films are contemplative, playful and quietly confrontational. His visual attack is succinct, his marriage of form and theme is flawless and his moral intent is thunderous.

Where "Act of Killing" was concerned with a larger study of post-massacre Indonesia, "Look of Silence" chooses a more intimate landscape. Geographically, emotionally and cinematically it is regional. Concerned with a single killing, the men who did it – directly and indirectly - the family it affected and the small village that has lived with questions about other killings like it for fifty years. Where "Act of Killing" lived in absurdist grand cinema, "Look of Silence" exists in tight close-ups of the perpetrators, survivors and truth-seekers. More than anything, more than words, their faces tell the story. So much happens behind the eyes, around the corners of the mouth, in unspoken glances. The horror, doubt, guilt and seemingly impossible reconciliation stirs below the surface. For all the cinematic flex of "Act of Killing", this contained take on the same material, seems more haunted and human.

The star of the film, Adi the eyewear peddler, pursues this mission with intelligence and courage. We meet his family. His happy playful daughter, his thoughtful son, his cautious loving wife, his ageless mother (probably the most engaging character captured on film this year), his wisp of an ancient father, and his memory of a murdered brother, looming over everything. From them he finds the courage to question murderer after murderer face-to-face. The combination of his profession as an optometrist with his quest to seek truth would seem heavy-handed if it were fiction, but nothing here is inauthentic. In showing all of Adi's family, from the fresh and young, to the spent and dying, we see the full arc of life.

Lastly, the film makes a glancing but firm indictment against the American anti-Communist fervor that fed into - and the American corporations that profited from - these killings. It gives strong evidence that the Cold War, the war of ideology and the murder of millions, allowed for, and was even fought for, Western corporate dominance in places like this. And here the grinding up of human beings for profit in this situation is undeniable. Oppenheimer wants to make sure no one involved gets off without having to face, if not their own role in the massacre of millions, then at the very least, their culture's.

And so it goes, the people (wives, mothers, daughters, sons, fathers, husbands), the silence, the haunted jungle hum that fills most of the auditory space in the film, the great and overwhelming significance of it all… everything pools together to show us something words alone can't manage. Something about how a horror can be so great that its impact can loom over generations. About living with debilitating fear of those who have claimed power over you through violence. About the most nightmarish tendencies in humanity, and our courageous capacity to overcome the worst of ourselves. About just how difficult it is to look into the eyes of a killer and say, "I know what you did."

And more profoundly, more frighteningly… "I know you."

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