Wednesday, January 15, 2014

the act of killing

The Act of Killing: Relentlessly stupid men recount and reenact their relentlessly evil acts, sanctioned by their government, supported by ours, to exterminate communists for profit. Rape, murder, and everything else terrible under the sun is spoken proudly of, the purpose to illuminate that which most of us know to be obvious moral truths. The sad fact is that killing is often illustrious/lauded/heroic when those doing the killing are declared the winners, or when their cause is backed by a governing power or majority. This film is about the power of persuasion, both to sway the public’s perception of evil and to sway the murder’s soul from liability. It’s not all about blaming those who are obviously to blame, the fingers point inward as well (once again the US had skin in the game). Western influence is a big part of the negative space. Just cause is often peddled to us to guise the smell of shit, we in America are far from exempt from this kind of atrocity. These men are shit, much like any gangsters ---- or “free men” as they insist ----- of all stripes who kill for profit, greed, or pretty much any reason other than self-defense (yeah I can’t really blame anyone for protecting themselves or someone else). But I guess this is crux of Joshua Openheimer’s film, that even monster’s souls are penetrable once they have nowhere to hide the truth from themselves. Perhaps more disturbing, the fact that a man lies buried somewhere beneath the beast. The final revelation (a conscience risen from the dead) is both a literal a figurative purge, the film would have failed completely without it.