Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary The Act of Killing observes original perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian anti-communist purge reenact their killings in the form of movie scenes in whatever cinematic genres they choose, resulting in a wide range of disturbing movie scenes growing in surrealism. However, apart from the various scenes whose actual making we observe through the documentary itself, we never see the full cinematic product of this film within the film in its entirety. Yet, Anwar is clearly shown watching an apparently finished product at the end.
Now, I understand that this final filmic product wasn't so much the purpose of the documentary rather than the process of producing those reenactments and their effects on the perpetrators and the public awareness of this matter. And I could imagine quite a few reasons why releasing it to the public in uncommented form might be a bad idea:
- It might be regarded tasteless, or a glorification of the killings, as that film is ultimately the killers boasting with their deeds and trying to get redemption from them. Yet similar accusations about the actual documentary have already been refuted by Oppenheimer previously. And the film also does contain slightly more self-aware scenes of Anwar being haunted by what he did. Likewise did the perpetrators already reason about the change of public opinion their film might have on the killings, so that aspect as well as what they did wasn't completely lost on them, especially on Anwar.
- It might detract from the purpose and message of the documentary itself, which, as said, wasn't so much about the end procuct of a finctionalized version of the killings rather than the process of producing it.
- It might be a problem for the makers who might regard the final product of it as a rather personal document and opt against publishing it. Though, one might argue that they would have a bigger problem with the actual documentary itself. And during the documentary there were multiple discussions reasoning about an actual publication of the movie they produce, yet Oppenheimer never seemed to actually lie to the perpetrators regarding what movie he really intends to do (and according to Oppenheimer Anwar supposedly doesn't feel betrayed by The Act of Killing).
- Or we might simply already have seen more or less the whole product in pieces during The Act of Killing and releasing it as a whole wouldn't add anything at all.
Yet, in the spirit of true neutral observation and complete disclosure, the actual final product the making of which the documentary observed all the time might still be a fruitful addition to the The Act of Killing, as a kind of accompanying material, similar to the more victim-centric The Look of Silence.
So is there any official commentary whether there is any intent on publishing the fictionalized reenactments produced during The Act of Killing as a film on its own? If not, have there been any specific reasons mentioned?