JAKARTA (Yosefardi) – The controversial film The Act of Killing, describing the massacre of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members in North Sumatra, failed to win the 2014 Oscar award as the Best Documentary Feature Film.

The Act of Killing is beaten by 20 Feet from Stardom, a film by Morgan Neville. The Act of Killing was named as nominee alongwith 20 Feet from Stardom, Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars and The Square.

The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer has won 35 awards, including Berlinale, European Film Award, Gotham, Puma Impact, Asia Pacific Awards and two BAFTA nominations.

However the film was banned in the country as well as the neighbouring countries in Association of Southeast Asian Nation). Hence the screening of the movie was often made in secret across the country.

The nearly-three hours of film screening was produced during eight years but the crews opted to hide their identities. Interestingly enough, imaging the film would win the 2014 Oscar award, the Indonesian co-director would not go on stage to receive the award, to keep their lives in safe.

But in fact, The Act of Killing has forced Indonesia to reveal the dark part of Indonesian’s history during Soeharto era. (oktofani@yosefardi.biz)