The Look of Silence

color. 103+ min. In Indonesian w/English subtitles. & Anonymous, Participant Media and Final Cut, dist. by Drafthouse Films, www.drafthousefilms.com. 2016. DVD UPC 883476150048. $24.99; HD/Ultraviolet/Blu-ray UPC 883476150055. $29.33. Rated: PG-13. INT AFFAIRS/HUMAN RIGHTS
OrangeReviewStarIn 1965, Indonesia was the site of genocide when the military government purged more than 500,000 members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and their supporters. Truth and reconciliation are always complicated issues but uniquely so when the perpetrators remain in power and are one's neighbors. Here, noteworthy filmmaker Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing) follows optometrist Adi Rukun as he challenges members of his community and his own family responsible for the death of his older brother. Rukun's brave confrontation with the killers during in-house eye exams demonstrates that the past can never stay buried. The film is marked by beautiful cinematography, emotional moments with Rukun's mother and father, and a heightened sense of tension throughout. Oppenheimer's exceptional work underscores what happens when victors' history is allowed to go undisputed and victims are forced to suffer in silence. Bonus features include an in-depth conversation with Oppenheimer and the Q&A event at the February 2015 Berlinale.
VERDICT A magnificent achievement, perfect for anyone interested in human rights and collective memory.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing