Any film with the names Werner Herzog and Errol Morris attached as co-executive producers is enough for cinephiles to run to the theater en masse. But Joshua Oppenheimer’s masterful genocide documentary “The Act of Killing” is an unmissable film on its own terms.
In the film, which premiered at Telluride, a group of Indonesian death squad leaders is challenged to reenact a series of mass killings done in the 1960s upon anyone, especially communists, who dissented from government authority. Through a series of bizarre, violently staged set pieces, the men do so with disturbing pride.
In a video interview with Vice, executive producers Morris and Herzog — both known for their own intensely cinematic documentaries including Morris’ 1988 “The Thin Blue Line” and Herzog’s 2005 “Grizzly Man,” among many more — discuss this controversial film and the Indonesian government’s reaction to it. Read our TOH! review of “The Act of Killing” here, watch the interview and trailer below, and catch the film when it opens in limited release on July 19.