Now out on Blu-ray and DVD, the Oscar nominated documentary The Look of Silence serves as director Joshua Oppenheimer’s companion piece to The Act of Killing. While both films spotlight the harrowing effects of the 1965 genocide, The Look of Silence takes on the vantage point of Adi, an optometrist whose brother was among the estimated one million people killed during this unspeakable tragedy (The Act of Killing had the actual murderers doing Hollywood recreations of their actions).
During the documentary, Adi visits people who were involved in his brother’s murder, and although most of these conversations begin with checking their eyesight, Adi eventually questions them about their involvement in the genocides. The film’s moniker deals with the “look” that Adi, whose voice is mainly calm and measured during his subtle interrogations, gives during these exchanges. Even though his own life and family’s safety may be in danger with his involvement in the documentary, Adi determinedly moves forward to find a sense of closure to his brother’s death.
Drafthouse Films has given The Look of Silence a first rate treatment in regards to its special features (the movie’s images are crisp and clear, and Oppenheimer’s use of visual lyricism really pops in the Blu-ray version). The disc comes with an informative Q&A with Oppenheimer and executive producer Werner Herzog at the Berlin Film Festival, as Oppenheimer delves into the 10 year undertaking of his two documentaries.
Also included in The Look of Silence Blu-ray is a 20-page booklet which contains an essay on The Look of Silence by film critic Eric Hynes and audio commentary from Oppenheimer and executive producer Errol Morris. Both Herzog and Morris are top tier documentary filmmakers, and listening to them add their insights and praise to The Look of Silence is a plus. Last but not least, the disc also features the film’s trailer and a digital download of The Look of Silence.
The Look of Silence is also discussed on episode three of CinemAddicts, a new podcast that’s a collaboration between Hollywood Outbreak and Cold Cockle Productions. Our discussion of The Look of Silence begins at the 56:00 mark below. Check it out!
Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi