I’m grateful to Sundance Cinemas for letting me host special post-show discussions after some of their Screening Room titles. It’s a chance for me and interested audiences to decamp to the Overflow Bar after the show to talk about what we just saw, whether it was the elliptical storytelling of “Upstream Color” or the social issues of “Any Day Now.”
Or, as in the case of the next Screening Room talk, genocide and the banality of evil. Yeah, that should be a laugh riot. We ought to order a pitcher.
(Caveat: I hadn’t actually seen the documentary “The Act of Killing” when I chose it as one of the movies I wanted to do a discussion about, having heard it was a thought-provoking film. That was correct.)
It also is one tough sit, a film that transfixes the viewer and haunts for days after. The documentary looks at men who were involved in the killing of hundreds of innocent Indonesians during the 1965 coup in that country, and who have walked around unpunished. The film lets them re-enact some of their crimes, which they do with the enthusiasm of kids imitating their favorite movie heroes (which is essentially what they were).
So, to forewarn you, it is not an easy movie to watch, but unquestionably one worth seeing, and one that should provoke a great discussion afterwards. I definitely urge you to come out and join me. “The Act of Killing” opens Friday, and my talk will take place after the early evening show next Tuesday, Aug. 27. I’ll post more details on the blog when I get them.
The next one after that will be much lighter, Sarah Polley’s wonderful documentary about her family history, “Stories We Tell,” on Tuesday, Sept. 10.