SXSW 2015: ‘The Look of Silence’ proves Joshua Oppenheimer is one of the best documentarians working today
In The Act of Killing, his previous documentary, director Joshua Oppenheimer employed an innovative technique to explore the atrocities committed under Indonesia’s military dictatorship. The film followed several death squad leaders who were responsible for exterminating thousands of accused communists. Oppenheimer provided these men with financing and production crews, allowing them to recreate their appalling actions on film. It was his hope that by confronting their past in this manner, the men would experience some level of remorse or moral responsibility for their actions. The Look of Silence, Oppenheimer’s companion piece to The Act of Killing, is not nearly as experimental or original as its predecessor. This is not to say that the film is without power. On the contrary, in some ways Silence cuts even deeper than its companion.