The Act of Killing did not win Hollywood’s favor. The activist-oriented systematic promotion of the documentary, however, has helped it to have a significant impact on public discussion of the mass killings of 1965, both in Indonesia and internationally. A single film could never overthrow the hegemony of half a century of indoctrination, but it has — especially given the guerrilla activism that has got it around the traps in Indonesia — punctured that hegemony. Activities and processes aimed at ending that hegemony embodied in the scores of Indonesian and foreign books, articles and independent video documentaries about what happened in 1965, exposing the mass killings and repression, have received an important boost through the film.
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