Thursday March 6
THE ACT OF KILLING - Director's Cut
where: at PS 69 in Jackson Heights
when: Thursday March 6, 7:30 PM
Festival to Screen Director’s Cut of Academy Award Nominated The Act of Killing
The Queens World Film Festival will screen the World Premiere of the 159-minute Director's Cut of The Act of Killing on Thursday, March 6 at 7:30pm. The critically praised and 2013 Academy Award nominated documentary will play the 400-seat auditorium at Jackson Height's P.S. 69.
It will mark the first time the festival has given a film Centerpiece status, blocking out the evening program in order to highlight the film. Director Joshua Oppenheimer will be on hand for a special Q&A session after the film.
QWFF's Associate Programmer, Jordan Mattos, reached out to the filmmakers in 2013. "As a Danish-American-Indonesian co-production treating a piece of difficult Southeast Asian history, The Act of Killing is a perfect pairing for the Queens World Film Festival. Its rigorous critique of establishment movie violence and its irreverent spirit match QWFF's feisty programming ethos. We are excited to connect our local Queens community with this outstanding picture."
Anwar Congo has loved Hollywood gangster movies since growing up in his native Indonesia, where he sold movie theater tickets on the black market to death squad leaders. Anwar got his chance to live out his celluloid fantasies when he joined the army in killing hundreds of Communists, ethnic Chinese and intellectuals. Over a million innocent people were murdered in just under a year.
Fast forward to present day Indonesia. Anwar is now the founding member of a right-wing paramilitary group that, unlike the Nazis, celebrate the genocide and are treated as role models by the community and local media.
The Act of Killing's filmmaking team challenges Anwar and his friends to live out their dreams of Hollywood stardom by recreating their memories of those killings on camera and becoming the stars of their own movie. Along the way, Anwar and his movie gangsters teeter ever so slightly on the edge of developing a conscience. As they complete the shooting of the gory, special FX-heavy movie version of their past, the potential for realizing the true horror of their actions hangs in the balance.
Joshua Oppenheimer and the documentary filmmaking team behind The Act of Killing have crafted a knowing observation on the reciprocal link between real and imagined violence. Hollywood's glamorization of cruelty is called into question, as we see the direct consequences that movie violence has on the killing methods used by Anwar and the criminals on innocent civilians. The implications made by Oppenheimer are clear and chilling. As the line between historical brutality and fake movie action are confused, we are no longer able to play make believe.