Indonesia film: The Act of Killing

Screened as part of the UCLA International Institute's International Human Rights Film Series

Saturday, April 26, 2014
3:30 PM - 6:30 PM
James Bridges Theater, Melnitz Hall
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA

The Act of Killing is a 2012 documentary film directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and co-directed by Christine Cynn.  The film focuses on the Indonesian killings of 1965-66, an anti-communist purge in which death squads killed more than 500,000 people.

The film will be followed by a discussion with George Dutton and Robert Lemelson.

George Dutton is Director of the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies, and Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.  His research focuses primarily on Vietnamese social history of the 18th through early 20th centuries.  At UCLA he teaches courses on Southeast Asia ranging from modern literature to religion to ethnic minority issues, and also teaches early and modern Vietnamese history.  His most recent publication is Voices of Southeast Asia (ME Sharpe, 2014), a literary anthology.

Robert Lemelson is an anthropologist and documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on the relationship of culture, psychology and personal experience in Indonesia.  He received his M.A. from the University of Chicago and Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at UCLA.  Lemelson's areas of specialty are Southeast Asian Studies, psychological anthropology and transcultural psychiatry.  He is currently an adjunct professor of anthropology at UCLA and a research anthropologist in the Semel Institute of Neuroscience at UCLA.  He is also the president of the Foundation for Psychocultural Research, which funds programs and initiatives at the intersection of social and neuroscience.  Lemelson's documentary film, "40 Years of Silence: An Indonesian Tragedy," similarly explores the 1965 tragedy, but from the perspective of four families who survived the mass killings.  He also funds the Indonesian Studies Program at UCLA.


Cost : Free and open to the public.


Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, UCLA International Institute, UCLA Law

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