Joshua Oppenheimer
Daniel Bergeron Joshua Oppenheimer

Director Joshua Oppenheimer discussed his harrowing documentary "The Act of Killing," a frontrunner for an Oscar nomination, as part of Indiewire's ongoing Awards Season Spotlight.

The film, which asks former Indonesian war lords to reenact atrocities as if they were in a Hollywood action or crime film, has the likes of Werner Herzog and Errol Morris executive producing. Herzog, who came on board after an early screening, told Indiewire:

"He asked to show me the unfinished film, in London. Director’s cuts are usually so boring, but after 15 minutes I knew I had to support this film. 'The Act of Killing' tells a story that is at once so powerful and so absurd —documentaries like this come around once every quarter century.”

Oppenheimer's responses are articulate and fair-minded. Check out some video snippets, below.


On boastfulness masking denial:



On needing to find the distinction between "someone has done something monstrous" and "someone is a monster":

On opening up a national conversation in Indonesia: