Published on January 22, 2014 | by Danil Boparai


The Act of Killing co-director remains nameless

Poster for the documentary feature 'The act of killing'

Joshua Oppenheimer’s film has been nominated for Best documentary Feature at the Oscars [The Act of Killing]

The Indonesian co-director of The Act of  Killing has decided to remain anonymous because they fear a backlash from anti-communist groups.

Directed by Central Saint Martins Ph.D graduate, Joshua Oppenheimer, the film has been nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars – a ceremony that the co-director has decided not to attend.

“It is not possible for me to go to the Oscars, it is too much publicity and it is not really safe for me to be openly seen as the co-director of the film,” the co-director told The Independent.

Oppenheimer recently spoke to Charleston City Paper about the film’s Oscar nomination.

He seemed determined to keep the focus on the political aspect of the film and stated: “Let’s hope that whatever good happens with this film that it keeps the issues of impunity alive everywhere, in Indonesia and at home.”

Still from the movie 'The Act of Killing

The movie has received a total of 58 award nominations [The Act of Killing]

The movie draws attention to the hidden acts of genocide, that took place in 1960’s Indonesia.

It gives viewers an insight into the brutal mass murders of millions of communists and Chinese people across the country.

Oppenheimer decided to focus on two gangsters turned death squad members, Adi Zulkadry and Anwar Congo, who boast about the executions they took part in.

The highly-regarded filmmaker and executive producer of the documentary, Errol Morris, described the scenes as “a dream that dissolves into nightmare, and then into bitter reality”.

Actors from 'The Act of Killing'

The movie draws attention to the hidden acts of genocide, that took place in 1960’s Indonesia [The Act of Killing]

Fellow director Werner Herzog said he had not seen a film “as powerful, surreal, or frightening in the last decade”.

The Academy Award nod is just one of 58 various award nominations the film has received since its release.

Other nominations and awards include: two BAFTA nominations, three nominations for The Guardian film of the Year and the 2013 Film of the Year Award from the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound magazine.

The documentary, which was produced in conjunction with the University of Westminster’s DocWest centre, is the 12th feature film from the American director.

The film is available to view online from sites such as Netflix and iTunes.

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