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The Act of Killing (2012)

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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.


, (co-director) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 53 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Herman Koto ...
Himself - Gangster and Paramilitary Leader
Syamsul Arifin ...
Himself - Governor of North Sumatra
Ibrahim Sinik ...
Himself - Newspaper Publisher
Yapto Soerjosoemarno ...
Himself - Leader of Pancasila Youth
Safit Pardede ...
Himself - Local Paramilitary Leader
Jusuf Kalla ...
Adi Zulkadry ...
Soaduon Siregar ...
Himself - Journalist
Suryono ...
Himself - Anwar's Neighbor
Haji Marzuki ...
Haji Anif ...
Himself - Paramilitary Leader and Businessman
Rahmat Shah ...
Himself - Member of Parliament
Sakhyan Asmara ...
Himself - Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport


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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A story of killers who win, and the society they build See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

8 November 2012 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Amal-e koshtan  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,450 (USA) (21 July 2013)


$486,919 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended) | (TV) | (TV)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Played for 52 weeks at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts from June 28th, 2013. See more »


Anwar Congo: Did the people I tortured feel the way I do here? I can feel what the people I tortured felt. Because here my dignity has been destroyed, and then fear come, right there and then. All the terror suddenly possessed my body. It surrounded me, and possessed me.
Joshua Oppenheimer: Actually, the people you tortured felt far worse, because you knew it's only a film. They knew they were being killed.
Anwar Congo: But I can feel it, Josh. Really, I feel it. Or have I sinned. I did this to so many people, Josh. Is it all coming back ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The name "Anonymous" appears 49 times under 27 different crew positions in the credits. This was done to protect the identities of those crew members who feared retribution from the former Indonesian death squad leaders. See more »


Features Dialog Khusus See more »


Maju Tak Gentar
Composer: Cornel Simanjuntak
Courtesy of Pangihutan Simanjuntak
See more »

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User Reviews

JAW DROPPING you have to see it to believe it.
2 January 2014 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Mark Twain said "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." and in this film you are hit a raw and unbelievable impossible truth. You are left wondering how the hell the film makers got such confessions from such mass murderers who now seem more eccentric then evil.

" If we don't learn from history we are bound to repeat it" and I begin this paragraph with another famous but empty quote. But when you see this film you understand what that means. You may have read about political death squads, as I have, but I confess I never knew exactly what that meant. I thought they consisted of disciplined military units who targeted activists in a clinical way, and I thought that appalling. But death squads are unleashed thugs and these targeted communities, ethnic groups, communists and anyone else they wanted, to a tune of 2,5 million dead. This was another 20th century genocide and in the film the criminals still talk about "extermination" as if it was a good thing.

In such an ethnically diverse place like Indonesia politicians should not talk or hold in respect war criminals who participated in genocide and in this film they openly do. Do they realise they are sending a message out, that this behaviour is acceptable in certain circumstance, which generally means it will happen again. Also, the international community should insist these men are taken to account and brought to the court of human rights in The Hague, as "we" should also insist this is always unacceptable. I urge all to watch this film, it is disturbing, jaw dropping, and something you will never forget. After the last scene of the film and thinking about what I just seen I let the credits run and even there, a poignant message, the amount of "anonymous" from makeup artists, producers and even one of the 2 directors shout volumes.

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