THE ACT OF KILLING nominated for 2014 Academy Award / by Mauricio Gonzalez-Aranda

Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary THE ACT OF KILLING was just announced as one of 5 Academy Award nominated films for Best documentary feature. 

The director, Joshua Oppenheimer says the following after the nomination: 
We are deeply grateful to be nominated for an Academy Award. This nomination is more than an honor for us as filmmakers. In a few months, Indonesians will go to the polls to choose their next president. With leading candidates personally responsible for crimes against humanity, and glorifying a history of genocide to build a climate of fear, there is a very real risk that the country will backslide toward military dictatorship. This nomination will put the film, and the issues of impunity that it raises, on the front pages of Indonesian newspapers -- at a time when Indonesians must urgently debate how impunity for mass murder has led to a moral vacuum of fear, corruption, and thuggery.

The Act of Killing would not exist without the survivors of the 1965 genocide, who courageously defied army threats to tell us their stories, and inspired us to make this film. Nor would it exist without my anonymous Indonesian crew - and especially my anonymous co-director. They gave eight years of their lives to make this film, knowing that unless there is real political change in Indonesia, they could not take credit for their work. May this nomination encourage the Indonesian government finally to acknowledge the 1965 genocide -- and the present-day regime of fear built upon it -- as a moral catastrophe. May it encourage ordinary Indonesians to demand that their leaders be held accountable for their crimes - be they genocide, corruption, or the use of thugs to do their dirty work. And may it inspire all Indonesians to work together for truth, justice, and reconciliation. 


The anonymous co-director says the following:

An Academy Award nomination for The Act of Killing is a great honor for us, the film's anonymous Indonesian crew, because it is a call to remember everything that has been forgotten or hidden over the course of humanity's long and dark history.

In Indonesia, we hope that this nomination will remind the public that the truth has not yet been brought to light, justice has not yet been served, an apology has not yet been uttered, victims have not yet been rehabilitated (let alone compensated). Discrimination against survivors continues. An official history that remains silent on the atrocities (yet glorifies the extermination of the communists in general terms), is still taught to our children. The government continues to anoint architects of the genocide as national heroes. All this to keep people paralysed by fear, so that ordinary Indonesians dare not hold them accountable for wanton corruption.

We hope that this nomination will remind us -- and all human beings everywhere -- always to fight against forgetting.