'Act of Killing' documentary featured at the Ross

· 2 min read

'Act of Killing' documentary featured at the Ross

"The Act of Killing"
Scene from director Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary "The Act of Killing."

The critically acclaimed, chilling documentary "The Act of Killing" opens Sept. 27 at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center. The drama "Ain't Them Bodies Saints", starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck continues for a second week.

"The Act of Killing" and "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" are not rated. Both play through Oct. 3.

"The Act of Killing" is a 2012 documentary film directed by Joshua Oppenheimer. The film examines the failed 1965 coup in Indonesia that led to gangsters leading notorious death squads.

One of the gang leaders, Anwar Congo, personally killed 1,000 people — usually by strangling with wire. Today, Congo is revered as a founding father of the right-wing paramilitary group Pemuda Pancasila, which grew out of the death squads.

In the film, Oppenheimer invited Anwar and his friends to re-enact their killings for the cameras, and make dramatic scenes depicting their memories and feelings about the attacks.

The scenes are produced in the style of the individual's favorite film genres: gangster, western, and musical. Various aspects of Anwar and his friends' filmmaking process are shown, but as they begin to dramatize Anwar's own nightmares, the fiction scenes begin to take over, leading the film to become increasingly surreal and nightmarish. Oppenheimer has called the result "a documentary of the imagination."

Set against the backdrop of 1970's Texas Hill Country, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" is a romantic American story that follows three characters on various sides of the law — outlaw Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck), his wife Ruth Guthrie (Rooney Mara), and a local sheriff named Patrick Wheeler (Ben Foster). The film, which is the second feature from writer-director David Lowery, was developed at the Sundance Institute's Writing and Producing Labs. It also stars Nate Parker and Keith Carradine. The film received the U.S. Dramatic Cinematography Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

For more information, including show times and ticket prices, go to http://www.theross.org.