Skip to main content

Film Series Takes a ‘Look of Silence’

Look of Silence film
Press image from 'The Look of Silence'

Oklahoma City University’s annual international film series will continue at 2 p.m. Sept. 24 with Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary “The Look of Silence.” The screening is free to the public in the Kerr McGee Auditorium in Meinders School of Business at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue.

“The Look of Silence” examines how individuals attempt to bridge divides between enemy factions. In the powerful 2014 companion piece to his Oscar-nominated documentary “The Act of Killing,” director Oppenheimer immerses audiences into the family of a victim of the 1965 Indonesian political genocide as their surviving son Adi Rukun seeks information about what happened to his brother Ramli all those years ago. Adi watches footage from “The Act of Killing” as a way to learn about the violence of decades before, then seeks out his brother’s murderers in his own version of a “truth and reconciliation” process. A working optometrist, Adi asks the perpetrators to “see” and to speak the truth while he examines their eyes.

The film is a lush and troubling mosaic of images. Critic Peter Bradshaw stated, “I don’t think I have ever seen a recent documentary so visually beautiful.”

Oklahoma City University Film Institute Director Tracy Floreani said she and her advisory committee wanted this year’s film series, based on the theme “Picturing Reconciliation,” to take on a positive theme in light of the many global crises and cultural divides occurring in recent times.

“All of these films deal with the idea of reconciliation in some way, whether people from warring factions trying to understand one another, or people treading the difficult terrain of forgiveness or acceptance,” Floreani said.

Films are also selected based on feedback and requests from audience members at the series. The films run throughout the academic year, from September through March.

Other upcoming films include:

  • Oct. 8,In the Name of the Father” by Jim Sheridan (Ireland/UK (1993) 133 min.)
  • Oct. 22,Tanna” by Martin Butler and Brantley Dean (Vanuatu/Australia (2015) 104 Min.)
  • Nov. 5, “Ma Vie en Rose” by Alain Berliner (France (1997) 88 min.)

All films screen Sundays at 2 p.m. in the Kerr McGee Auditorium. Admission is free to the public, but donations help to maintain the Film Institute’s mission.

A discussion session follows each film for those who wish to stay, and a list of theme-based recommended readings and podcasts will be available at each screening.

For more information visit www.okcufilmlit.org, call 405-208-5707 or email filmlit@okcu.edu.

The Film Institute is supported by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund for the University’s Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature.