The Act of Killing closes with a scene of one death squad killer retching at the site of many of the murders he committed, after playing the victim in one fictional re-enactment of their crimes - a particularly chilling reminder that ordinary people, not monsters, lie behind even the greatest atrocities in history.
In the early 1940s, Jan Karski was a courier for the Polish underground who snuck into the Warsaw Ghetto and then tried to warn Allied leaders about the Nazi extermination of Europe's Jews. At approximately the same time, Hannah Arendt -- a brilliant philosophy student and refugee from Germany -- was fleeing an internment camp in France, and finally arrived in New York.
The first Havana Biennale to be staged after the reopening of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, a tempered sense of optimism in the country feels tangible. This optimism remains restrained, however, as another, darker, situation casts its shadow over the Biennial's proceedings.
Ferguson was not just an event in which police overreacted to heated demonstrations; it's a symptom of a generalized hatred of democracy in this country -- the hatred of the truly bold idea that politics should be the work of everyday people and that power should not be concentrated in the hands of a few.