i think this is more than just "nationalism justifying killings". they seem largely unaware that they need to justify anything, they recollect and rationalise and reenact their worst deeds candidly as though they were nothing. this kind of brainwashed perspective is rarely taken to such extremes and rarely captured on film in this way. but to me it's kind of irrelevant how different the massacre was, it's how different the film's examination of that massacre (and by extension the nature of all massacres and their culprits) is that makes it special. oppenheimer examines it from the perspective of the perpetrators by having them reconstruct their memories as miniature works of cinema, and those works are rendered surreal and harrowing and bizarre not only by the nature of the contents (which have rarely been accessed so directly on film), nor by the childish enthusiasm and complete lack of appropriate feeling with which they're performed, but by the repressed emotions and delusions that spill out into them. this seems all the more clever when taking into account that it was cinema which inspired these gangsters in the first place, and now it becomes the place where they reckon with their own acts, in one case causing a conscience to emerge kicking and screaming. there's also a narrative running alongside it all about the sins of cinema in creating these monsters, and subsequently the beginnings of the medium's redemption. i find all of this very interesting or, at the very least, original.