Latest Issue

A surreal account of slaughter

A documentary about the 1965 massacre by the Indonesian military of its opponents by American Josh Oppenheimer is a fascinating take on reportage

By Tom Streithorst  

(Image: Dogwoof)

In 1965, the Indonesian military ousted Sukarno, the revolutionary leader who had ruled the country since independence. In order to consolidate their power, they massacred their opponents. Over half a million communist sympathisers and ethnic Chinese were murdered in the six months from October 1965 to March 1966.

Forty years later Josh Oppenheimer, an American graduate of Harvard’s filmmaking programme, flew to Sumatra, an epicentre of the slaughter, in order to make a documentary about the killings. He began…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect