Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer (Denmark, Finland, and Norway 2015). The Look of Silence is Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to the Oscar®nominated The Act of Killing (screened at Scandinavia House in 2014), a truly unique documentary that convinced the surviving perpetrators of the brutal Indonesian genocide of 1965-66 that re-enact their crimes against humanity in a series of absurd pantomimes of death.

In The Look of Silence, Oppenheimer returns to the killing fields to analyze the violence from another angle – the viewpoint of the victims’ relatives, who have kept silent about the atrocities for 50 years. The documentary follows Adi, an ophthalmologist who was born just after his brother Ramli was killed by roving gangs of anti-Communist death squads sanctioned by President Suharto. Oppenheimer tracked down the unrepentant militia members who had wielded machetes on Ramli and countless others and who still giggle about their butchery as if it were a mere youthful indiscretion. Adi, showing enormous poise, restraint, and courage, later confronts Ramli’s killers and asks them about their past – all while performing eye exams on them. The Look of Silence, a shocking, utterly absorbing companion to Oppenheimer’s 2012 masterpiece, is an unflinching examination of the moral blind spot that still shadows Indonesia today and obscures wounds that have yet to heal after half a century.

The Look of Silence premiered in the official competition at the 71st Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize, the International Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI), the Italian online critics award (Mouse d’Oro), the European Film Critics Award (FEDEORA), as well as the Human Rights Nights Award. Since then, it has gone on to win multiple awards, including Best World Documentary (Cinephile Prize) at the Busan International Film Festival, the Grand Prize (DOX Award) at CPH:DOX,] a Danish Arts Council Award for outstanding achievement in filmmaking, and the Best Film Award at the One World human rights documentary film festival

The film is one of 15 finalists squaring off for Oscar nominations for “Best Documentary” this year. In addition it is nominated for the Best Feature for the International Documentary Association Awards, European Documentary at the European Film Awards, Best Documentary at the Independent Spirit Awards and one of the top five documentaries of the year by the National Board of Review.

102 minutes | In Indonesian and Javanese with English subtitles

Director Joshua Oppenheimer and Producer Signe Byrge will participate in a Q & A following the screening.

Special thanks to Drafthouse Cinema and Final Cut for Real.



About the director

Director Joshua Oppenheimer, a Texan based in Denmark, is a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship (2015–2019). His debut feature film The Act of Killing was nominated for the 2013 Academy Award® for “Best Documentary”, and has been released theatrically in 31 countries. The film was also named “Film of the Year” in the 2013 Sight & Sound Film Poll and won 72 international awards, including the European Film Award 2013, BAFTA 2014, Asia Pacific Screen Award 2013, Berlinale Audience Award 2013, and Guardian Film Award 2014 for Best Film.

Oppenheimer is a partner at Final Cut for Real in Denmark and Artistic Director of the International Centre for Documentary and Experimental Film at the University of Westminster in London.



Image courtesy of Drafthouse Films and Participant Media

TUE- 1-12-16 – 7 PM
$10 ($7 ASF Members)