Showing posts with label Indonesian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indonesian. Show all posts

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Act of Killing

The Act of Killing is a remarkable and stomach churning documentary that allows several mass murders to tell the story of their crimes in their own words and through dramatic re-enactments. Following a US backed military coup that resulted in a decades long, right wing dictatorship, somewhere in the region of 500,000 to 2.5 million Indonesians and ethnic Chinese were killed at the hands of Government backed ‘gangsters’ and paramilitaries. Today, nearly half a century later there has been no apology for these heinous crimes and many of the murders are revered as heroes. This film focuses on several of the now ageing killers.

The film is unlike any documentary I’ve seen before. It avoids the bias that inevitably accompanies a documentary feature by allowing the perpetrators to give their own account, in their own words. The director and occasional questioner Joshua Oppenheimer avoids leading questions, instead asking the occasional question that’s on all our minds and allowing those interviewed to answer and elaborate if they feel necessary. Luckily for us the viewer, they often do. Another thing that makes this film stand out is that its ‘stars’ are given carte blanch to re-enact their evil deeds with a full camera crew, make-up, professional lighting and even prosthetics. It makes for chilling viewing.

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Raid

"Pulling a trigger is like ordering a takeout"

The Raid/ The Raid: Redemption/ Serbuan maut - Deep inside one of Jakarta’s slums lays an apartment block that is the base of one of Indonesia’s most wanted gangsters, Tama Riyadi (Donny Alamsyah). After being a no go area for the Police for years, they plan a raid to take the gangsters out. Early one morning a 20 man SWAT team descend on the building with the aim of clearing it out once and for all. Amongst the team is rookie cop Rama (Iko Uwais) who has left his heavily pregnant wife at home that morning, possibly for the last time. The SWAT team slowly make their way through the building, taking prisoners as they go before they get to the 6th floor where they are discovered. Soon an army of drug dealers, criminals and gangsters is on top of the small team of Police and what began as a mission to clear the building turns into a battle for survival and escape.

Id’ been looking forward to this film for months, having heard great things from the countries in which it has already been released. I’d heard rumours that it was the best Action film in a long time and having now seen it I have to agree that it probably is. The action is frenetic and features five or six scenes which are equal to the Oldboy corridor scene. That is enough on its own to make a great film but there is also a fairly engaging story of deceit, courage and duty. The story takes a back seat for a lot of the film but there are some nice twists in there. What this film is really about is hitting people, repeatedly and in ever differing ways. Director Gareth Evans cleverly balances the action with several short rest bites in which the audience can regain their breath before throwing another superb fight scene at them.