Unbelievable. 

I haven't seen the documentary that won the Oscar for 2012, but I have a hard time believing it in any way beat this...

Produced by Erroll Morris and Werner Herzog, Director Joshua Oppenheimer gives opportunity to some of Indonesia's more celebrated executioners, murderers, rapists and gangsta's to reenact their war crimes and tell their story.

This is dark, but brilliant fare. Now in their 70's, Indonesia's murdering class still in power, they want their story told, and are happy to reenact their executions, murders, and rapes for the the camera. Without justification (but with substantial Western Encouragement), "The Act of Killing" retells Indonesia's Genocide not so much as a rabbit hole as a moral and ethical abyss, as the characters both freely acknowledge their roles and duties yet without in any way accepting moral culpability...

The murderers watch it and shower it with approval. They go on collections, where they terrorize Chinese immigrants for protection money, freely given on the basis of their reputations alone. There's the epiphany where the lead executioner, in his role of the victim, realizes what he thinks his own victims felt, until the director is compelled to interrupt and advise him "...but you knew you were acting, in a film, whereas your victims knew they would die...", or words to that effect... 

And yet somehow, each of them, the inane lifestyles, the unthought values and unconsidered consequences, the idolizing and worshiping of the most despicable of human traits, somehow you get the feeling that perhaps they realize, that despite their place in a society that not only accepts but celebrates their "accomplishments", that somehow they know that what they did was wrong...

It's a Russian doll, infinitely nesting, tangled and tangling web of the darkest of human fears and realizations. It's shame on META META META levels. It's the firsthand portrayal and reenactment of heinous and amoral things, and as painful as it is to watch it's complicity to ignore. And if you think it's irrelevant, read this: 

http://blog.longreads.com/2016/04/05/the-vanishing-what-happened-to-the-thousands-still-missing-in-mexico/

This is ongoing and worldwide, Mexico, Rwanda, Syria, Croatia, again and again, but few countries have had the audacity to celebrate and promote their war criminals like Indonesia has.

Reviews: http://www.cbc.ca/documentarychannel/feature-programs/the_act_of_killing/

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/mar/05/act-of-killing-screening-in-indonesia

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_act_of_killing/