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The Act of Killing

Joshua Oppenheimer / Christine Cynn

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Festival year: 2013

Former leaders of Indonesian death squads go fifty years back in time to play their role in the 1965 genocide in film scenes. A documentary that illustrates the imagination of these murderers. ‘Unforgettable, unmissable, horribly brilliant.’ The Guardian.


In the 1960s, Anwar was a small-time gangster who sold movie tickets on the black market. He found an idealised self-image in the gunslinging heroes on the screen. Coming out of the midnight show, he and his friends felt ‘just like gangsters who had stepped off the screen’, and were enraged by the communists who boycotted American films — the most popular and profitable. When the government of president Sukarno was overthrown by the military in 1965, Anwar and his cohorts joined in the mass murder of more than one million alleged communists, ethnic Chinese and intellectuals. Anwar and his friends take pride in their past and are eager to recreate it in the form of movie scenes with elaborate sets, costumes, pyrotechnics and extras enlisted to play victims. But as movie violence and real-life violence intertwine, Anwar's boastfulness gradually gives way to expressions of unease and regret.

The film will be released in Dutch film theaters by Cinema Delicatessen.


Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom 2012, 116 min.


Spoken language: Indonesian

Official website:


Final Cut for Real ApS

+45 35 43 60 43

Dutch distribution:

Cinema Delicatessen

+31 204207123

World sales:


+ 972 544961114

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Go here for more infromation about the Workshop by Joshua Oppenheimer on Thursday March 21.


Workshop entrance fee is € 8,75 or on display of filmticket The Act of Killing a free workshop ticket can be picked up at the festival ticket offices (attention: timely reservation required!)

When & where?

  • Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 13:00

    Theater aan het Spui 1, The Hague

  • Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 20:00

    Theater aan het Spui 1, The Hague

  • Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 21:30

    Theater aan het Spui 2, The Hague

  • Friday, March 22, 2013 - 19:00

    Filmhuis Den Haag zaal 1

  • Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 13:15

    Theater aan het Spui 1, The Hague

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Human rights
courts & tribunals, transitional justice
crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide
journalism, media & propaganda
military, armies
political killings & disappearances
truth commissions & historical investigation
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