Little-known episodes from the life of particular social groups and marginalized communities are one of the recurring subjects in Köken Ergun’s practice. However, all of the micro-level stories he tells us allude to dramatic events that have had an effect on entire nations and countries, offering a new perspective on their histories.
One example of a similar inquiry into a little-known and horrific episode in 20th century history is Joshua Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing, which is about the people who took part in the Indonesian killings of 1965–66. After General Suharto came to power following political turmoil, the country saw large-scale killings take away over 500,000 lives. The film focuses on former death squad leaders Anwar Congo and Herman Koto, who have agreed to tell their stories and comment on the shocking killings on a national scale.
Garnering over 30 awards and 50 nominations, The Act of Killing won Best Documentary at the European Film Awards and Asia Pacific Screen Awards in 2013, and was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Feature category.
The Act of Killing
Directed by: Joshua Oppenheimer
Running time: 159 minutes
Norway/Denmark/United Kingdom, 2012