"The Act of Killing" (2013)

. April 9, 2014.

Y'all know I likes me a strange film every once in a while, and this one certainly qualifies. Though it was made in 2012, it was not until 2013 that it became one of the Oscar nominees for best documentary. Here's the plot: In 1965, Anwar Congo and a group of friends were promoted from small-time gangsters to leading the Indonesian government's death squads, killing over one million people. Director Joshua Oppenheimer asks them to recreate the killings in any cinematic genre they chose. Being huge American cinema fans, they jump at the opportunity. Now remember: this is a documentary. That's not a bit strange? Oppenheimer does a superb job dealing with these maniacs as well as holding on to his own sanity. It's not just the psychos, the film is also beautifully filmed. The musical numbers, though downright hokey, are dazzling. Presented by Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, two visionary documentary filmmakers themselves.