"The tradition of cinema is dominated by films about good versus evil, ‘good guys’ fighting ‘bad guys.’ But good guys and bad guys only exist in stories. In reality, every act of evil in history has been committed by human beings like us. When we make the leap from ‘a human being who commits evil’ to ‘an evil human being,’ we denounce an entire life, a whole person. I think we take pleasure in denouncing people. Perhaps because, in doing so, in feeling entitled to make the denunciation, we reassure ourselves that we are different, that we are good. In The Act of Killing, I ask you to see a part of yourself in Anwar, a man who has killed perhaps 1,000 people.”

Read more of Director Joshua Oppenheimer’s letter to audiences here.