The impact of The look of silence and The act of killing on the audience
Joshua Oppenheimer - USA
About the author
Two-time Academy Award nominee Joshua Oppenheimer’s work has redefined the possibilities of documentary cinema. His debut feature, the musical documentary-fiction hybrid, The Act of Killing (2014 Oscar® Nominee for Best Documentary), was named Film of the Year in 2013 by the Guardian and the Sight and Sound Film Poll, and won 72 awards, including a European Film Award, a BAFTA, an Asia Pacific Screen Award, a Berlinale Audience Award, and the Guardian Film Award for Best Film. His second film, The Look of Silence (2016 Oscar® Nominee for Best Documentary), premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won five awards, including the Grand Jury Prize. Since then, The Look of Silence has received 72 awards, including an Independent Spirit Award, a Gotham Award. The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence have helped transform Indonesia’s understanding of the most important event in its modern history - the 1965-66 genocide - inspiring a movement for truth, reconciliation, and justice. Beyond Indonesia, public discussion around the films prompted the US government to declassify 30,000 previously secret files detailing America’s complicity in the massacres. Cinema Eye Honors named Joshua Oppenheimer a decade-defining filmmaker in 2016, and both his films as decade-defining films. In 2014, Oppenheimer was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. Joshua Oppenheimer was the 2017 Guest Director of the Telluride Film Festival, 2017 Tribute at the Sarajevo Festival Festival, centerpiece of The Act of Killing retrospective at 2016 San Sebastian Film Festival, winner of the City of Cologne’s 2016 Phoenix Prize, and served on the jury of the 2016 Venice Film Festival. Joshua Oppenheimer is a partner at Final Cut for Real ApS in Copenhagen and Professor of Film at the University of Westminster in London.