The Look of Silence

Synopsis: An Indonesian man with a communist background named Ramli was brutally murdered when the "Communist" purge occurred in 1965. His remaining family members lived in fear and silence until the making of this documentary. Adi, a brother of his, decided to revisit the horrific incident and visited the men who were responsible for the killings and one survivor of the purge. These meetings uncovered sadistic details of the murders and exposed raw emotions and reactions of the killers' family members about what happened in the past - much to Adi's disappointment.
Director(s): Joshua Oppenheimer
Production: Drafthouse Films
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 47 wins & 40 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
103 min


a film by Joshua Oppenheimer.

Why am I singing?

To relieve my broken heart.

Why should I spin yarn-

- if in the end

the yarn will be cut?

Why should I remember-

- if remembering only

breaks my heart?

Ali Sumito was killed in Sukasari.

What happened?

My men were afraid of blood.

So I chocked him like this.

His tongue came out...

You asked!

I ripped him open.

His intestines spilled out.

Another one...

I threw him.

He landed on a rock

and cracked his skull.

He tried to hold his head together.

In 1965, the Indonesian government

was overthrown by the military.

Anybody opposed to the military dictatorship...

could be accused of being a communists...

union members,

landless farmers and intellectuals.

In less than a year,...

over one million "communists" were murdered...

and the perpetrators still hold power

throughout the country.

Your mom misses you, Ramli.

I haven't seen you for so long, Ramli.

I still see you in my dreams..

You can see me,

but I can see you.

I wish I could see you.

You're my son.

I raised you.

I miss you.

You were tortured,

dumped in the river...

Nothing left but your bones.

No flesh.

Please pray that I'll get well.

Your dad is sick too.

He's blind, crippled, deaf...

It's our fate.

We're both sick..

Mine isn't so serious...

just a pain in my hip.

Lift yourself up.

Lift yourself up.

Give me your hand.

And the other one.

Lift yourself up.

Lift yourself up.

Come to the wheelchair.

- Lift myself?

- Yes.


- It's about the same.

- Do you fell dizzy?

- Which is better?

- This one.

- Where did you live in 1965?

- Aceh.

In Aceh,

many people were killed in 1965.

No, nothing happened.

I heard they hung people.

No, it was calm.

At Snake River,

many people were killed.

You mean communists?

I know nothing about it.

- In Aceh, nothing happened?

- No.

- Do you remember the communists?

- Of course.

Who were they?

I don't know what they did,

but they were blindfolded...

brought to the river,

slaughtered, shot.

Who slaughtered them?

How should I know?

You ask too many questions.


I'm just passing the time.

When I meet older people,

I like to hear about the past.


I'm selling glasses!

Playing with the glasses?

You'll regret it!!

My eyes are big!

Want to buy glasses, sir?

These look better on me.

Dad, can you still sing?

- What?

- Can you sing?

Of course!

Please, sing.

You're so sexy

I can't stand it!

You're so sexy

I can't stand it!

Your long, curly hair...

Your soft checks...

So pleasing to the eyes...

Are you married yet?

When your brother died,

your dad's teeth fell out one by one.

It was terrible.

Every morning, he lost another tooth,

until he had two left.

He wouldn't speak.

I couldn't eat.

I couldn't sleep. I couldn't bathe.

I just sat under the tamarind tree...

and remember how your brother

always sat there...

and ate his dinner.

You look just like him

You are the answer to my prayers.

I'd pray...

"Please replace my dead son".

Is you weren't born

I'd have gone crazy.

I thought my life was over...

But two years after he died,

you were born.

American news report


But now Bali has become more beautiful

without communists.

Some of the communists leaders from

this village realized they were wrong...

and came to the village council

and asked...

when the village council will clean

the village Os communists?

Some of them.

Some of them wanted to be killed.

"Now give me a chance to say

goodbye to my relatives...

and the next morning

I'm ready to be killed".

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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