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[Perspectives] 50 years of silence

The Look of Silence is the sequel to The Act of Killing (2012), the award-winning documentary directed by Joshua Oppenheimer. Both films are about the aftermath of the military coup in Indonesia in 1965, and the genocide that came after it. After the coup, anyone who opposed the new dictatorship was accused of being a communist. More than a million of these “communists”—farmers, intellectuals, union members, among others—were rounded up and murdered, in less than a year. It was seen as a victory by the USA, and a news clip from the time shows a US reporter listening respectfully while a Balinese man explains how the communists, seeing the error of their ways, had “asked” to be killed.