This paper explores two experimental documentary films that present memories of acts of mass violence: The Act of Killing (Denmark, 2012, director Joshua Oppenheimer) about the Indonesian anti-Communist purge in the 1960s and Gzim Rewind (Sweden, 2011, director Knutte Wester) about the fate of a boy who fled from Kosovo in the 1990s. Using dialogic theory (Bakhtin, 1981; Phillips, 2011), we analyse the voices that are articulated about past violent events in the films. The focus is on how different voices interrelate in the filmic presentation of mass violence, including victims and killers. Primarily, the analysis focuses on The Act of Killing and its reception by an Indonesian audience. The discussion concerns how these kinds of film projects open up very different voices and how this diversity potentially contributes to new understandings of the past, thereby fuelling social and political change.
- documentary film genre
- social media network
- Intercultural communications
- discourse analysis
- dialogic communication theory