Wrongs: An Interview with Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer

A Cultural History of Law in the Modern Age, 2016

22 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2019

Date Written: May 25, 2016


Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer, in conversation with Richard Sherwin and Danielle Celemajer, discusses how truth and fiction, memory and fantasy, history and aesthetics figure in his two films The Act of Killing (2012) and The Look of Silence (2014) on the genocide in Indonesia in 1965-66, which claimed the lives of at least 500,000 victims. By remembering (and re-imagining) acts of torture and killing, from the perspectives of both the victims and the perpetrators, Oppenheimer explores the twin possibilities of individual and collective forgiveness and the re-legitimation of the political process. Oppenheimer’s work enacts an ethically inflected aesthetic that enriches our understanding of art, history, and politics alike.

Keywords: torture, human rights, genocide, transitional justice, film. aesthetics, surrealism, reconciliation, empathy, love

JEL Classification: K14, K42,

Suggested Citation

Sherwin, Richard Kenneth and Celermajer, Danielle, Wrongs: An Interview with Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer (May 25, 2016). A Cultural History of Law in the Modern Age, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3402957 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3402957

Richard Kenneth Sherwin (Contact Author)

New York Law School ( email )

185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
United States

Danielle Celermajer

The University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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