The Look of Silence
Director(s): Joshua Oppenheimer
Fest Year: 2015
Series: True Life Fund
In Person: dir. Joshua Oppenheimer
It opens with crickets. The only sounds on an otherwise peaceful evening in rural Indonesia, as the sky darkens through a micro-rainbow of blue and indigo. Thus, with calm equal to the bombast of The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer begins his companion film, also about the 1965-66 genocide but now from the victims’ perspective. Adi Rukun, optometrist, lives with the weight of his brother’s murder and two parents burdened with memories. Adi tracks down the perpetrators, and, in one of the film’s more poetic images, tests their vision, not only dredging up ghosts but endangering his entire family. Adi’s quest represents an act of bravery almost unmatched in cinema, and the film, with quiet intensity, demands that we bear witness. What we do after that is up to us. (DW) Presented by The Crossing.