I have been thoroughly desensitized by the internet. Countless videos of accidents, deaths, mutilation, severed limbs, and beheadings have numbed most of my sensitivty to human suffering. I watched the documentary The Act Of Killing last night and for the first time since my inception to the internet, I can honestly say I was visibly shaken up. The Act of Killing is a documentary based on the Indonesian genocide in 1965. The killings resulted in one of the most brutal genocide in history, with nearly a million people slaughtered within a year. If you’ve ever tried to imagine what a Nazi conquered world would be like, this documentary might be closest thing we’ll ever have to actually knowing. What we discover is that when history is written by the victors, we see something very frightening emerge: acceptance of brutality as not only necessary, but heroic. The same paramilitary death squads that carried out the assassinations are politically strong today and count with government ministers among their members. They proclaim themselves national heroes and boast loudly about their “achievements”, which include murder, torture and rape. Director Joshua Oppenheimer interviews some of these gangsters and invites them to reenact the murder scenes by adapting them to their favorite movie genres (Westerns, musicals, etc.) 24 hours later, I am still left in a state of shock and disillusionment that evil, monstorous men are able to walk the streets with their head held high. Harrowing, shocking, and at times unbearable to watch… this movie is surprisingly poetic and beautiful. There are few films out there that I’d call essential viewing, but I think this documentary is one of them.This incident isn’t just about Indonesia, but it speaks volumes about our humanity and what we humans are capable of.