It’s one thing to see movies where the idea of “evil” is mythologized, stylized and characterized in a never-ending variety of abstractions and personifications but to actually look real evil the eye is something else entirely. That’s what lies at the heart of The Look of Silence. A man confronts those responsible for the murder of his brother, men who, even now, could have him killed without consequence if they so wished.
Every encounter in The Look of Silence is filled with dread and tension yet there’s something deeper here too. There’s a sadness and a mourning for the lives lost and a disappointment in and even a sympathy for the twisted men responsible. The souls of these men turned black long ago. While some of them have come to terms with their sins and accept whatever fate befalls them, others are being eaten away from the inside, finding that time and age is their punishment. The recounted tales of how they drunk the blood of their victims to avoid damnation are among the most chilling things I’ve ever heard.
It’s gripping stuff. Almost too real to handle and compute. A total gut-punch that is an unquestionably essential companion piece to The Act of Killing.