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Joshua Oppenheimer Quotes
Denial, panic, threats, anger - those are very human responses to feeling guilt.
Native Americans' families experience living surrounded, living in increasingly small reservations surrounded by the society that destroyed their civilization, and are still stigmatized. For decades and decades, for hundreds of years except in Indian schools, they weren't allowed to speak their language. That stigma takes a terrible toll.
What makes art powerful is a flash of recognition, a frightening encounter with something familiar about the human condition.
I think that our task as filmmakers is to create the most insightful reality given the most pressing questions.
My first memory of cinema is my mother taking me to see 'Silkwood,' which is about a whistleblower at a nuclear power plant.
I think that indignation is pleasurable, and it's pleasurable because it's self-righteous.
I first went to Indonesia in 2001 for six months. I was to help a community of plantation workers to make a film documenting and dramatizing the struggle to organize a union in the aftermath of the Suharto dictatorship.
I came across the Indonesian genocide in 2001, when I found myself making a film in a community of survivors. They were plantation workers, and it turned out they were struggling to organize a union.
My father's family was mostly obliterated in the Holocaust, and I grew up very much with the sense that the central moral and political question is how do we prevent these things from happening again.
We have to support truth and reconciliation and some form of justice.
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I think 'The Act of Killing' forced people to look at the problem, but the problem is actually a state run by thugs, or a shadow state, a part of the state that's run by thugs, and a military that enjoys complete legal - not just impunity, but immunity.
I went looking for embodiments of pure evil, but found ordinary people.
I heard about the Holocaust before hearing the 'Cinderella' story or watching 'Peter Pan.'
I have a British and an American passport.
I didn't really get any rigorous background in film history.
At Harvard, direct cinema was the core of the film department, and most of the students were trying to make socially conscious works, but I was trying to combine fiction and non-fiction to show how our seemingly factual world is constituted through fantasy and stories.
'The Look of Silence' is able to have a wide public release, although still not in cinemas. It's distributed by two government bodies, the National Human Rights Commission and the Jakarta Arts Council.
Yes, it was difficult - making 'The Act of Killing' in particular was a very lonely process. No one really believed in it until very close to the end. But it was also a sanctuary. I was working in obscurity.
I'm a big admirer of S21, and I really also like Rithy Panh's work in general.
I think it's a great pity in the Anglophone world that we conflate cinema verite and Direct Cinema; they're, in fact, ontological opposites. In Direct Cinema, we create a fictional reality with characters and pretend we're not that.
I think Direct Cinema's trying to be insightful by looking at reality in a very close way while, in fact, much more is staged than we like to think. In cinema verite, it's about trying to make something invisible visible - the role of fantasy and imagination in everyday life.
I don't think there's a morally perfect way to do anything in life, but I'm not a filmmaker who tries to hide my mess.
From 2005 to 2010, I was exclusively shooting 'The Act of Killing' and then editing it.
In terms of so-called fly-on-the-wall documentaries, there's a claim that the camera is a transparent window into a pre-existing reality. What really is happening is that the film crew and the subjects are collaborating to simulate a reality in which they pretend the camera is not present.
No one forgets the presence of the camera, no matter how long it's there.
Once you recognize that all documentaries are performance, it's not a matter of 'if' they should be performance. They are performance, and they are performance precisely where people are playing themselves.
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