Transporting the viewer into a country setting where a unique way of life is gradually disappearing, Boone comes with no expository voiceover, respects no dramaturgy, and excludes any interaction between filmmaker and subjects.
The multiple cameras grant the viewer a privileged access to the stage from every possible angle except the perspective of the audience. This creates a filmic space in which we are united with those who create the music, yet are separated from those who listen to it.
The Act of Killing does not concern itself with replicating reality in the typical documentary manner: recording or preserving historical evidence. After all, since the perpetrators have never really denied their heinous acts, the film is not burdened with a need to prove anything.
Elephant, Van Sant’s ambitious endeavor about real-life psychos, killing fellow students in American high schools—a problem about as easy to ignore as an elephant in the living room—is another effort to reach for what’s hidden, to dig into what only lies beneath, and then to put it on display.