The Act of Killing (2012)

Not Rated   |    |  Documentary, Biography, Crime

The Act of Killing (2012) Poster

A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.




  • Anwar Congo in The Act of Killing (2012)
  • The Act of Killing (2012)
  • Anwar Congo in The Act of Killing (2012)
  • Anwar Congo in The Act of Killing (2012)
  • The Act of Killing (2012)
  • The Act of Killing (2012)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Joshua Oppenheimer , Anonymous (co-director), Christine Cynn (co-director)

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User Reviews

1 February 2016 | ediliuanto
| Hard to watch for someone who knows too much of the truth
I cannot help the urge not to write something that I could say I truly know and familiar with. I was born in the exact city where this youth organization stronghold (Pemuda Pancasila) is based now and where all the killing had taken place in the past. I am no stranger to all the crimes they did back then or do now.

Back to where it all started on the 30th of September 1965, which marked the rebellion by the Communist Party. Seven of the highly ranked military generals were kidnapped, tortured and murdered then piled in an old well by what the history said to be the communist starting coup d état. (No evidences of torturing as accused, only military style execution resulted from the autopsies of the remains and also no evidence it was done by the communist party member till now).

The name Pemuda Pancasila (Youth of Pancasila) was then known since youth started to march on the street yelling Pancasila (our nation's philosophy) resisting and seeking for revenge by annihilating communism to its root. Both government and military gave full support resulted in uncontrolled anarchy mob led to man slaughter and in present day, an organized crime.

My Mother was 13 and witnessed their brutalities would tell me the horror with fears still could be seen in her eyes. Her brothers would run and hide for their lives in a rice field when Pemuda Pancasila arrived with machetes in military trucks yelling "Pancasila" as their slogan to find and execute anyone who was involved in communist. But all the communist excuses were biased and used only to do what they wanted and to kill whoever they think was communist mostly with no evidence at all.

She witnessed her neighbour accused as one of the member of "Gerwani", woman communist organization, being raped, then dragged to the street and beaten to death as an example for others who resist. They looted, ate, drank, and destroyed what they could not take in my mom's store. One word or eye contact showing disrespect would find her ended up beaten to death.

Dead bodies and body parts scattered everywhere on the street was a normal view. Not one day went by without anyone getting killed at night. Many were victims of the unproven accusation, poor farmers who received fertilizer or farming tools from the communist party would be considered communist while they did not even know anything about what communism is.

I felt really sick watching this movie yet at the same time I was very thankful finally the whole truth about how this crime organization started and is hiding behind a youth organization now be told. It disgusted me how they could live with such unbelievable crimes and told the story so proudly with no regrets and believed in their lies and excuses they made up only to justify their brutality in the past (except Anwar Congo). Some even considered themselves as heroes. Yet I pitied them for being very uneducated and shallow. Imitating what they saw in the western cowboy and Mafia's movies thinking they could be meaner and more brutal like it was just some scene in a movie.

Are they qualified as human beings?

Ps. If you are interested in finding more about their brutalities and violence, you can find videos in youtube recently, they are involved in a riot with other organization and Police.

Metacritic Reviews

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Release Date:

8 November 2012


Indonesian, English

Country of Origin

UK, Denmark, Norway

Filming Locations

Medan, Indonesia

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,450 21 July 2013

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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