The Final Scene of The Act of Killing: Did the Filmmaker Go Far Enough in Confronting Congo?
Tall, thin, cadaverous, hidden behind dark glasses with an assortment of wide-lapelled suits—lime green, canary yellow. Congo seems as if on display, flamboyant to no particular purpose. He tells Oppenheimer about his love of the movies, particularly the Hollywood epics of the 1950s. Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah and The Ten Commandments. Movies were part of the deal from the beginning.
Between camera setups on the historical film, Congo's neighbor Suryono shares a story about watching the death squads abduct his communist stepfather. Quick to reassure the gangsters that "I'm not criticizing what we're doing," he describes finding his stepfather's body under an oil barrel the next day. At 12 years of age, he had to help bury his stepdad in a roadside ditch. Moments after this recollection, Oppenheimer keeps the documentary camera focused on Suryono, whose cavalier facade is crumbling by the second. He seems to implode as Congo's friend Adi Zulkadry, a flinty veteran executioner who reminds me of Ray Winstone, browbeats the others about sugarcoating their crimes: "Everything Anwar and I have always said is false. It's not the communists who were cruel. I'm absolutely aware that we were cruel."