Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look Of Silence is the follow-up to 2013’s Oscar-nominated The Act Of Killing. It won the Grand Jury Prize in Venice this year and was jointly acquired by Drafthouse Films and Participant Media on the eve of that fest. At the time, I posted a clip from the film and above is the first trailer.
Act Of Killing, which had a Best Documentary Oscar nomination and won the BAFTA in the same category, saw Indonesian death squad leaders re-enact assassinations they committed in anti-communist purges after the military coup of 1965. The new movie examines one man’s journey as he searches for, and confronts, his brother’s killers. Both The Look Of Silence and The Act Of Killing were made under circumstances that required most of the crew to be credited as “anonymous” because anyone involved was at grave risk if their identities were revealed. The soft-spoken, affable Oppenheimer himself has said he was frightened whilst there and does not intend to revisit the subject.
The Look Of Silence doesn’t yet have a U.S. release set, but it’s played Telluride, Toronto, New York and is continuing to make the rounds of festivals, so a qualifying Oscar run could still be a possibility. It opens in Denmark, where Oppenheimer is based, on November 13.