In a scene in the genre-bending documentary film The Act of Killing (2012), a journalist, Soaduon Siregar, claims to have a sudden insight while standing in a film studio. Having just watched two executioners reenact their deeds of 1965–66 before a camera, he realizes why he had never known that they had garroted hundreds of detainees when he was working with them in the same building. His old friends had been so “smooth” (he used the English word) that he had not noticed them running a human abattoir upstairs. One of the executioners standing in the studio with crude makeup plastered on his face, Adi Zulkardy, is incredulous and insists Siregar must have known since even the neighbors heard the screams of the victims: “It was an open secret (rahasia umum).” When the director of the film, Joshua Oppenheimer, interjects, noting that Siregar's longtime boss at the local newspaper had already admitted to being an interrogator who decided which detainees were to die, Siregar becomes only more adamant in denying any knowledge of the killing.

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