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Smiling Murderers and Crying Victims 리뷰
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승인 2015.05.11  11:05:37
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

    On May 18th, 1980, thousands of Korean people fought against Chun Doo-Hwan’s military regime and during the uprising many citizens of Gwangju were killed by the military. Similarly in Indonesia, countless innocent people were killed by a man who seized power in a military coup. “The Act of Killing” is a documentary film of the winners who killed millions of communists in Indonesia in 1965. Reviewing this film might give us lessons about our own tragic history, the May 18 Democratic Uprising.

▲ A poster of "Act of Killing"

     In 1965, Suharto, the former president of Indonesia blamed the Indonesian Communist Party for the coup attempt and slaughtered them. 40 years later, these murderers live very luxurious lives and one day, a director asked these people to shoot their own 'hero' film about what they have done for the so called 'right' thing. So, Anwar Congo, the executioner in Préman (the right-wing group in Indonesia) agreed to the idea, thinking people would know about his bravery by watching it. Anwar Congo bragged about how he killed about 1000 people by strangling them with wire. He even demonstrated how to kill a man with a wire in the first meeting with the director.
     The most appalling part of the film was the office scene. The office was used as a torture chamber at that time. As pressing down the communist’s neck (which was replaced by a sack in the movie) with a leg of the table, Anwar and other Préman members sang a song merrily waiting until the man under the table was dead. I could not continue watching this part because I felt sick. Anwar seemed to consider killing as one of his joyful ‘acts’ with singing. However, after he experienced the torture from the perspective of a victim, he started to ask, “Am I really doing wrong?” Anwar, still not facing up to his faults directly, wanted to get away from his guilty conscience.
     When the replica of Anwar’s decapitated head was raised in the air, I recalled the moment when I first saw the pictures of the May 18 Democratic Uprising in middle school; a man only wearing underwear and shoes, the soldiers dragging a body shedding blood, and a young boy holding a picture of his deceased father. Although the massacre happened in a different country and a different period, the whole movie reminded me of our painful history, the May 18 Democratic Uprising. I saw the possible past or future of Korea in this movie. If the truth was unraveled, the bereaved would live with resentment until now.
     There are still lots of victims who are afraid to be exposed in Indonesia. In the first scene of the movie, everyone is reluctant to take a role of a communist because they do not want to be suspected as a communist again. On the other hand, the smiling murderer, Anwar Congo considers himself a hero and no one blamed his actions in the movie. They smile along with him but he finds out that something is wrong about what he has done. The sad truth is that there are still many people out there who do not even know what is wrong with their behavior and the things that they have done. The scars of the victims are still remaining after 50 years. Now, it is time to look around us, 35 years after the 5·18 Uprising, do criminals still smile and victims still cry?

By Son Hyun-jee, Guest Reporter

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