The Look of Silence

Director: Joshua Oppenheimer and Anonymous
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 2.5

Oppenheimer revisits Indonesia, the subject of his previous documentary The Act of Killing, to follow around an eye glasses technician named Adi Rukun - whose brother was murdered by the anti-Communist death squads in the mid-60's - as he 'confronts' a few of the individuals responsible for the executions. As much as I was stunned by The Act of Killing, there were a few too many things in this that bothered me - the major issue I have is how Oppenheimer's a bit too manipulative and underhanded with the way he pushes Rukun in front of those monsters/'heroes' for dramatic effect (it's ethically dubious; at least in The Act of Killing he's trolling the monsters himself) and the way the whole project feels micromanaged and calculated (he goes overboard on the reaction shots of Rukun). This mostly revisits previously explored territory (are these executioners secretly ashamed of the crimes they committed?) and gets a little too cute with the symbolism (portable phoropters to 'see clearer,' jumping beans 'trying to break free') ... though on a historical level, Oppenheimer does have a strong desire for justice and wants to ensure such a tragedy never takes place in that nation again.