Joshua Oppenheimer's 'The Look of Silence' Confronts the Perpetrators of Genocide

An unforgettable documentary looks at the lasting scars of the Indonesian mass killings of 1965.


Imagine what it's like to confront the men who murdered your brother.

Now imagine that the murderers are some of the most powerful and celebrated members of society, free to boast about their crimes with impunity.

That's the premise of Joshua Oppenheimer's new documentary, The Look of Silence. A companion piece to his previous film, The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence confronts the perpetrators of the Indonesian genocide of 1965 from the perspective of its victims today, who are determined to learn the unspeakable truth about their past.

Reason TV spoke with Oppenheimer about the psychology of genocide and how his camera is changing the course of a nation.

"Every perpetrator is human," he says about the killers in his new documentary, The Look of Silence. "And if we want to understand how human beings do this to each other, and how they live with what they've done, we have to try to understand them as human beings."

The Look of Silence opens nationally on July 31st.

Edited and hosted by Todd Krainin. Cameras by Zach Weissmueller and Paul Detrick.

Runs about 27 minutes.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to ReasonTV's YouTube Channel to receive notification when new material goes live.