27 June 2015

The Look of Silence | ルック・オブ・サイレンス

Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
2014/Denmark = Finland = Indonesia = Norway = UK

In 1965, in Indonesia there was a military coup followed by an act of genocide under the pretext of getting rid of the communists. The military didn't directly kill people but provided arms to collaborators and made them kill their neighbours. Because the perpetrators are still in power, the offenders are considered to be heroes and are protected by the government, having comfortable lives. The previous film directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, The Act of Killing, depicted the madness of human beings using the most unusual method in which he let the leaders of a killing squad make a film about the genocide. This film tells a story from victim's view point.

Adi was born after his brother was killed in 1965. After having seen a video by the director in which those offenders proudly talk about how they killed victims, he decided to go see them. It is shocking that both offenders and victims still live in the same village and victims are scared of those who killed their loved ones. Because Adi is an optician, he offers a free eye check to see them. While he is checking their eyesight, they answer his questions about the genocide without alarm. Once they knew Adi was actually a brother of a man they killed, their attitude changed. The camera follows the expressions of both Adi and the offenders very closely. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. Adi just wanted a sincere apology from the offenders but none of them were prepared to give one.They all tried to justify what they did or blame the authorities. Although we can clearly see the guilt in their faces.

There are so many examples of tragedies in our history caused by people following what the authorities tell them to do without thinking about it for themselves. This incident falls into this category but the killers have been in power for 50 years. It is as if they are legitimate because they won. On the credits, many names were "Anonymous", which was very chilling.

1965 年にインドネシアで起こった軍事クーデター未遂事件に端を発した、「共産党勢力掃討作戦」 の名の下に行われた大量虐殺。軍は直接手を下さず、協力者に武器を渡して共産党のレッテルを貼られた人々を殺害させたのでした。加害者と被害者はご近所さんだったり、顔見知りだったりしたわけです。







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