Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Pollock Theater, UCSB

The Look of Silence (2014)

Screening format: Quicktime Movie (1 hour and 43 minutes)

Director: Joshua Oppenheimer

Heralded as a groundbreaking documentary work on trauma, this film is the companion piece to director Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar®-nominated 2014 documentary The Act of Killing about the 1965 Indonesian genocide. Described by Oppenheimer as “a poem about a silence born of terror,” this film follows optometrist Adi as he confronts his brother’s murderers during an eye exam, and asks the killers—still in power—to accept responsibility for their crime.

The Look of Silence will be followed by a conversation led by Professors Bhaskar Sarkar and Janet Walker of the UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies, co-editors of Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering (Routledge, 2010).

The Look of Silence Website

New York Times interview with Joshua Oppenheimer

Joshua Oppenheimer New York Times Op-ed: “Suharto’s Purge, Indonesia’s Silence”

Film Platform Discussion Lounge: The Look of Silence


Bhaskar Sarkar, Professor

Bhaskar Sarkar is a professor at the UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies. His primary research interests include risk and speculative media; post-colonial media theory; political economy of global media; and history and memory. Sarkar is the author of Mourning the Nation: Indian Cinema in the Wake of Partition (Duke University Press, 2009), a critical exploration of the cinematic traces of a particular historical trauma. He is coeditor of Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering (Routledge, 2009), and a special issue of BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies on “Indian Documentary Studies.” He has published essays on philosophies of visuality, transnational media, cineplasticity, and Indian and Chinese popular cinemas in journals such as Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Rethinking History: Theory and Practice, Cultural Dynamics, Framework, and New Review of Film and Television Studies. At present, he is completing a monograph titled Cosmoplastics: Bollywood’s Global Gesture, and a co-edited collection of essays, Asian Video Cultures: In the Penumbra of the Global(Duke University Press, forthcoming).

Janet Walker, Professor

Janet Walker is a professor of Film and Media Studies and co-convener of the Environmental Media Initiative Research Group of the Carsey-Wolf Center. She is author or editor of books including TRAUMA CINEMA:  DOCUMENTING INCEST AND THE HOLOCAUST (2005) and DOCUMENTARY TESTIMONIES:  GLOBAL ARCHIVES OF SUFFERING (co-edited with Bhaskar Sarkar, 2010).  Recently Walker participated in the workshop “Moving Environments: Affect, Emotion, and Ecocinema” held at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany.  Her essay, “Moving to Higher Ground? Documentary and Scientific (Audio)visualization of Sea-level Rise” is forthcoming in The Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Documentary Film and her current book project is a consideration of documentary film in relation to geospatial studies.

This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center and the Department of Film & Media Studies.