The Look of Silence, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, is the only documentary competing at the Venice Film Festival.
It follows the lives of an Indonesian family who decided to confront the gang who murdered their youngest son.
Joshua Oppenheimer said it had been a difficult job: “It was a frightening film to shoot and it meant that Adi’s family had to move thousands of kilometers to another part of Indonesia. We tried to get them out of the isolation of north Sumatra and away from the men who did this to their family.”
Director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad presented her feature film Tales, which consists of a series of vignettes about people’s lives in Tehran; indebted taxi drivers, impoverished pensioners, unemployed factory workers, drug addicts, filmmakers, intellectuals, state employees, social workers and others.
Another Iranian director, Mohsen Makmalbaf, opened the Orizzonti section of the Venice film festival with his film The President. The movie is about a brutal dictator of an unknown country coming face to face with his people after a coup d’etat. Mohsen Makmalbaf said: “I was thinking about 12-year-old audiences everywhere. I decided to leave out anything that a 12-year-old couldn’t understand because I wanted the film to help change the world. I’m not just a film-maker, I’m a human rights activist, cinema is a tool in my hand.”
Dearest, directed by Peter Ho-sun Chan was shown out of competition. It is about a 3-year old boy who is abducted, but when his family finally track him down he has forgotten them.