We are all Anwar
No one really likes to recognize one’s own evil. We live in a mass hypnosis state where we have accepted things like poverty and war as ‘norms’ and ‘the way the world works’ without considering a possibility to change. We often blame a particular establishment, government, tyrant, economics, politics, culture and media for the continuation of the atrocities without a change in this world. What we tend to usually forget is that before any secret societies or secret cabals taking control of how the world works, there is and was only ourselves, human beings as the creators of all of the above and everything that we can possibly complain about as the ‘evils of the world.’
Fascinatingly enough what we have done is make of our evil something separate of ourselves that we tend to fetishize and fictionalize in, for example, Hollywood movies that glorify wars, mafias, creating the notion of super heroes that can suddenly overcome such evil but then even that idea of the good vs. evil and ‘the good side’ being triumphant is no longer something that is credible in this world. We haven’t really pondered what it takes to create this notion of ‘victory’ and how victory is actually defined by those that win, those that (w)right hi-story, their story to then present an act of killing as something that is glorifying, righteously defending ‘The Act of Killing’ as a justified means to ‘win’ a battle.
We would have to also ask ourselves if we have also come to admire villains for their ‘cunning ways’ to get things done their way. But when it comes to understanding Why we actually harm each other, and How we have come to make of such harm and abuse part of who we are in fact and the ways we justify it is, we don’t go far enough; we often only stick to ‘presenting the show’ which is what sells, what the entire Hollywood industry is founded upon – which is what we do within ourselves too: we see others as the problem, the ‘evil ones’ instead of being willing to look deep inside of ourselves and acknowledge the same problem exists within each one of us too.
Stepping aside from the massive Hollywood propaganda for films that instead of informing or supporting people to see ways in which we have to take responsibility and implement solutions in this world, there is also another type of film that makes us all question everything we have made ‘acceptable’ as a form of enter-tamement/ entertainment such as the voyeuristic ability to watch violence, abuse, harm and murder as part of ‘what happens in the movies’ and eventually, even coming to inspire real life murderers and crimes. Which one came first? One would ask. Yes, it is rather obvious by now that we haven’t evolved as species when we still rejoice in watching battles and wars with all the gore and perceive that as entertainment – gladiators at the coliseum 2.0 – which is also at the same time used as a way to create a normalcy in the act of killing, of murdering, torturing, abusing and have an entire political connotation to it which is what consecrates it at the eyes of world history.
The Act of Killing is as surreal as anyone like André Breton probably could have imagined surrealism to be defined by and it is probably the first time that watching a film can feel like a movie, only to remind myself that it is in fact a Documentary: a real life presentation where there are several production processes as attempts to recreate and mystify the massive killings in Indonesia in the 60’s and how nonchalantly the perpetrators of such killings decide to represent what they did as part of what they believe is an honorable duty they were a part of – or should we say were told they were doing as an honorable thing – showing the massive propaganda machine that must exist as a constant reinforcement to convince us to do something, to actually kill and torture and commit the most hideous crimes and believe this is something in the name of national defense, honor, respect – sounds familiar? Only every single time that any form of conflict between human beings or two factions leading to war is justified.
What would happen if we were able to stand as observers of our own mistakes, crimes, abuse toward ourselves and others? The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer is remarkable in the sense that he has produced a documentary here the film in itself becomes the platform for the perpetrators to direct their own vision, their own accounts of the killings and re-enact – in their own ‘influences and vision’ – their hideous crimes that they choose to not define as such, because to their eyes they did ‘the right thing’ and as such ‘winners get to choose what ‘war crimes’ are, which is also part of the fabricated truths and creeds that we use to keep ourselves always on the ‘winning score,’ even if it means making of the killings of thousands – or even millions – of people an act of honor, a ‘need,’ a ‘right thing to do’ and forgetting completely about who and what they are in fact doing which is killing another living human being, an equal to themselves.
Witnessing the self-revelation that comes to the protagonists of this documentary specifically when taking the role of their victim opens up a possibility to realize what they have really in fact done, what they have put others through and witnessing a genuine moment of having the killers place themselves in the shoes of the ones they tortured and killed: perhaps an opportunity to forgive themselves for what they have done.
I watched the documentary twice and when I was in the movies I had a knot in my throat specially when realizing how disconnected we have been to everything we watch in a film, especially killings, what it means to kill, how killing is justified but what is more astounding is the actual potential for self-evaluation of such acts as something that is certainly unacceptable in contradiction to how these killers were just told to be and do.
Second time that I watched it was one week ago and I ended up tweeting: we are all in fact Anwar because I could see that we rejoice in blaming people and seeing everyone else as ‘the evil ones’ and we haven’t yet recognized we are all in fact the abusers in this world that allow not only the act of killing but any form of evil as the reverse of life to become our self-religion: what is money in this world but the way to deny life to another if so we decide to do so through ‘laws’ and politics, economic plans and further excuses like races, nations, colors to just not see and realize each other as equals? Who we are if not exterminators in this reality when thousands of species are dying every single day for our sheer presence in this world? Do we ever place ourselves in the shoes of the air, the water, the animals, every single part of this world that we constantly abuse, kill and deplete every single day in the name of ‘our progress’ or our ‘victories’?
If anything this documentary allows us to step back and not only get to see first hand the mentality that has to be fabricated to ‘create a killer’ but to also take the point back at self when attempting to blame anyone for this, or see ‘Anwar’ and the rest of the killers as ‘the bad guys.’ I realize that everything that we’ve seen as this abject consequence of our self-abuse is our responsibility and as such I have nothing but gratitude for having the opportunity to watch this film and be able to cry like a baby at the end in Anwar’s vomiting scene, because I’ve also felt disgusted, sad and angry at myself for what we have done to this world and each other and so it was revealing being able to witness another human being going through that.
Even if I haven’t killed a human being in this lifetime, I am equally responsible for every single form of abuse that exists here, as we recognize we are all in fact one and equal – that’s our current Oneness and Equality – and there’s no way to escape this and this is one of the reasons why I am so committed to my process of self-change and self-responsibility, mostly to be able to shout out to the four winds : WE DID IT TO OURSELVES! LET’S STOP BLAMING FOR EARTH’S SAKE and instead FOCUS ON CHANGING OURSELVES to Prevent crimes and CREATE SOLUTIONS!
So, once we watch this cathartic process that this documentary The Act of Killing represents to every one of us as human beings, we can begin to Forgive ourselves for every single crime, abuse and atrocity we have perpetuated in the name of power, in the name of money, in the name of a god or a belief because we have all done this, then be willing to roll our sleeves up and focus on getting ourselves straight by first and foremost stopping the self-abuse within us because ‘wars’ and governments taking over and secret societies ruling millions of people is nothing else but the outflow of our own abdication of Self-Responsibility to oneself and one another. I say till here no further, we cannot go sponsoring death and destruction one more day in this world beginning the abuse at a thought and individual level we commit each day.
I stand up for Life in Equality and Self-Responsibility for the Crimes we have all committed against Life – AND please: do yourself a favor and watch this documentary, you can’t miss it.
Watch the Live Google Hangout where further details and explanations behind the documentary ‘The Act of Killing’ will be shared, along with the refreshing sense of Self-Responsibility that we have to what this documentary so vividly exposes to us.
Thanks to Joshua Oppenheimer for being such a kick ass film maker and creating this masterpiece that should be shown all over the world to become more aware of the most essential form of abuse we all commit in one way or another: the act of killing.
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