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The Look of Silence

Documentary . Biography . History

A family that survives the genocide in Indonesia confronts the men who killed one of their brothers.

Actors: Adi Rukun , M.Y. Basrun , Amir Hasan , Inong , Kemat , Joshua Oppenheimer , Amir Siahaan , Ted Yates
Directors: Joshua Oppenheimer
Release: 2015-07-17
More Info:
  • Marc Savlov

    Harrowing and important documentary.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Over and over in The Look of Silence, we hear people tell the filmmakers, “The past is past.” The wound is healed, they say, and if you don’t want trouble, don’t reopen it. The movie itself proves otherwise.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Stephanie Merry

    The Look of Silence is as beautiful as it is bleak.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    His film makes it clear that these monstrous humans are very much a part of our species. In a way, I wish I’d never seen The Look of Silence, because now I won’t be able to forget it. But that’s the point, and the film’s purpose—calling attention to the cost of staying silent, and willfully forgetful, in the face of implacable evil.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    A painful, profoundly empathetic work of moral reckoning.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    The Look Of Silence is a powerful gesture of political rebellion, one whose boldest action isn’t damning mass murderers to their faces, but being willing to believe that their stranglehold on country and history could be broken.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • David Hughes

    As bleak, unflinching and utterly unmissable as its predecessor.

    Empire Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Compared to "The Act of Killing," Oppenheimer's technique with The Look of Silence is deceptively simple, but it applies a more traditional style of documentary storytelling to extraordinary goals.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • John Bleasdale

    Oppenheimer's first film maintained a passive detachment, allowing the killers to re-enact their own atrocities and metaphorically hang themselves with their own words. The Look of Silence takes a far harder line, probing the killers more deeply and confronting them in an attempt to shake some sense of remorse out of them.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    The Look of Silence — like The Act of Killing — is arresting and important film-making.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Guy Lodge

    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.

    Variety Full Review
  • Jessica Kiang

    The film does not stab as deeply in laying bare the schizoid moral hypocrisy of the perpetrators of the Indonesian genocide as its peerless predecessor, but instead offers an extraordinarily poignant, desperately upsetting meditation on the legacy of those killings, and on the bravery required to seek any kind of truth about them.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    A superior work of confrontational boldness, it might be the movie Oppenheimer wanted to make in the first place.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    What Rukun wants, one suspects, is closure. What he gives the rest of us is a face in which to see the pain the butchers caused, a reminder that the architects of a massive tragedy remain present and unrepentant, the personification of the evil men do and a warning that it could happen again.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    [It] isn't quite documentary filmmaking, but it certainly (and sickeningly) isn't fiction either.

    Slate Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    The Look of Silence is a simpler work than “The Act of Killing,” and a better one.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    This small, grim documentary about Indonesia is actually a bigger and grimmer movie about all of us — our capacity for both breathtaking evil and, occasionally, profound bravery.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    If it's a far less flashy film than The Act of Killing, it's also a better and possibly more honest one.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Deborah Young

    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.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    The film moves slowly, yet at exactly the right pace. Long holds on faces let us ponder what’s said and look for visual clues that it may be a lie.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Painful and unforgettable — a serious and honorable form, perhaps the highest, of "gotcha" journalism imaginable.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Glenn Kenny

    Post-Holocaust discourse frequently used the phrase “Never Again” as a slogan, specifically referring to persecution of the Jews but also denoting a prohibition against barbarism; the events under consideration in these films are dispiriting reminders that human progress in this area has been meager at best. Full Review
  • Farran Smith Nehme

    “The past is past. I don’t want to remember . . . the wound is healed,” says Kemat, an Indonesian man who survived the massacre of more than 10,000 people at the Snake River in 1965. As this documentary shows, nothing could be further from the truth.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Simply, this is a story that needs to be told, one that proves that sometimes the past shouldn't be relegated to the past. It also makes The Look of Silence an unassailably essential and necessary film.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Robbie Collin

    This is an essential companion piece to Oppenheimer’s earlier film; another astonishing heart-of-darkness voyage into the jungle of human nature.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Walter Addiego

    It’s a testimony to how much this is a live issue in Indonesia that some of the credits are listed simply as “anonymous.”

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Oppenheimer may have thought that by giving these murderers center stage they would expose their bestiality for all to see (except themselves). But what comes across instead is something far more insidious: a showcase for depravity.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Alonso Duralde

    The Look of Silence feels more like an extended DVD extra to his genre-defying previous film than a stand-alone documentary.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • James Lattimer

    If The Look of Silence still remains a gripping, vital, consequential documentary, it's in spite of its approach rather than because of it.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
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