The Look of Silence (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Look of Silence (2015)



Critic Consensus: The Look of Silence delivers a less shocking -- yet just as terribly compelling -- companion piece to Joshua Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing.

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Movie Info

Through Joshua Oppenheimer's work filming perpetrators of the Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered - and the identity of the men who murdered him. The killers live just down the road, and have been in power ever since the genocide. The family's youngest son, born after the genocide, asks how he can raise his children in a society where survivors are terrorized into silence, and everybody is terrorized into treating the murderers as heroes. In search of answers, he decides to confront each of his brother's killers. The killers still hold power, so these confrontations are dangerous. The killers respond with fear, anger, and naked threats. But he manages these encounters with dignity, asking hard questions about how the killers see what they did, how they live side-by-side with their victims, and how they think their victims see them. Through these confrontations, we feel and understand what it is like to live for decades encircled by powerful neighbors who murdered your children. The Look Of Silence does something virtually without precedent in cinema or in the aftermath of genocide: it documents survivors confronting their relatives' murderers in the absence of any truth and reconciliation process, while the murderers remain in power.(C) Drafthouse

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Critic Reviews for The Look of Silence

All Critics (117) | Top Critics (28)

Every scene weighs on the audience. But Oppenheimer and Adi manage to locate a lightness as well that lessens the burden.

Full Review… | January 21, 2016
The Atlantic
Top Critic

"The Look of Silence" is so disturbing because so few people in it seem disturbed.

Full Review… | August 28, 2015
Detroit News
Top Critic

A reminder that the architects of a massive tragedy remain present and unrepentant, the personification of the evil men do and a warning that it could happen again.

Full Review… | August 27, 2015
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Killing focused on the surreal reenactment of mass genocide by its elderly perpetrators. Silence makes it personal.

Full Review… | August 20, 2015
San Diego Reader
Top Critic

The Look of Silence couldn't possibly equal its predecessor, but it's still a wrenching and unforgettable experience.

Full Review… | August 13, 2015
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

"The Look of Silence" is painful and unforgettable - a serious and honorable form, perhaps the highest, of "gotcha" journalism imaginable.

Full Review… | August 13, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Look of Silence


Despite its tendency to place more the interviewer at the center of the doc than its subject, and how his confrontation seems at times fruitless and misguided, this welcome follow-up to The Act of Killing is also revealing as it exposes a country trying to bury its past.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


"The Look of Silence" is astonishing. Joshua has the strength to ask the difficult questions to those who committed mass genocide. He manages to capture all of this on film and is able to share the grief of loosing his brother with grace.

Samuel Hunter
Samuel Hunter

This is a heavy, somber film that still manages to be engaging and entrancing. One of the most disturbing films I've ever seen, even with it containing essentially zero on-screen violence. You won't necessarily enjoy it, but you won't forget it.

Chris LeRoux
Chris LeRoux

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