Joshua Oppenheimer's ground-breaking, chilling and inventive doc The Act Of Killing won big at this year's Berlin International Film Festival by taking both the Panorama Audience Award and the Ecumenical Jury prize.
The film sheds light on an almost forgotten atrocity and follows a group of Indonesian gangsters and death squad leaders as they produce a surreal fantasy film about widespread killings committed during a 1965 military coup. The reviews following its screenings in Berlin were nothing less of staggering and even topped Indiewire's documentary Criticwire poll for the entire festival which you can read here.
Tom Chrisite for Thompson on Hollywood said, "Joshua Oppenheimer has reset the bar for tragi-comedy. As in, don’t even bother trying, Hollywood. Ever again. In fact, why don’t we just dispense with next year’s Oscar race right now and give both the best documentary and the best feature award to this film? It even has a musical within it, so it could take that category at the Globes, too." Read the full review here.
The Playlist's Jessica Kiang minutes after the deviastation of the film's conclusion wrote, "Holy fucking shit. All apologies for incoherence in the following review but having just emerged from Joshua Oppenheimer’s shattering documentary “The Act of Killing,” which screened here in Berlin this morning, I am still shaking. I may not be in the best state to write about it, in fact, but there’s no way I can think about anything else, so I’m going to try. “The Act of Killing” is truly one of the most intensely unsettling, frightening, riveting films I've seen, maybe ever." Read the full review here.
The film is set for theatrical release in in the late Summer.