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Killing them softly in a ‘documentary of the imagination’

In the foreground, women dance slowly in lush tropical foliage, their arms swooping gracefully, deliberate, unhurried. Behind them, a waterfall plunges into unseen depths, sending forth a spray of mist that gives the scene a cloudy, ethereal quality, but does little to mute the oversaturated colors of the vegetation and the dancers’ outfits.

A man removes a thin garrote wire from around his neck. He reaches into his clothes and pulls out a gold medal, which glows like a halo, and presents it to Anwar Congo, dressed in black, who stands among the dancers, his features comically relaxed in artificial benevolence. The man thanks Congo for sending him to heaven, and they clasp hands and raise them high as the music swells. The song is “Born Free.”

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