In Cambodian refugee camps, when children are asked where rice comes from, they answer, "from UN lorries". They have never seen a rice field. One day, these children will have to learn to ... See full summary »
Somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, Komona, a 14-year-old girl, tells her unborn child growing inside her the story of her life since she has been at war. Everything started when she was abducted by the rebel army at the age of 12.
Alain Lino Mic Eli Bastien,
The lowest grossing film in Australia in 2014. It only made approximately $3,500. See more »
[It's not a picture of loved ones i seek, i want to touch them, their voices are missing, so i wont tell. I want to leave it all, leave my language, my country in vain and my childhood returns. Now it's the boy who seeks me out, i see him, he wants to speak to me but words are hard to find]
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Stark Depiction of Life Under the Tyranny of the Pol Pot Regime
Several reviewers have commented on the basic themes of Rithy Panh's documentary; what is perhaps more interesting is the way in which the title operates on two levels. First, Panh's film aims to fill in "the missing picture" of life in Cambodia under the Pol Pot regime. For most of the time, the only visual material available on this regime was propaganda films depicting an idealized world of workers happily contributing to the new country Kampuchea's collective sense of well- being. Through a mixture of clay figures and archive footage, Panh proves the opposite; most citizens had to get used to a combination of perpetual hunger and enforced labor. The clay figures are an important element of this film, suggesting that human beings can be rendered malleable in any way their makers/ captors choose. At another level, the film tries to recreate the "missing picture" of Panh's past; at the age of fifty, he looks back at his childhood in the pre-Pol Pot era, a world of color and variety that was ruthlessly swept away, as the people were forced to wear black and work inhumanly long hours in the rice- fields. The experience left an indelible mark on Panh's character, as he lost most of his family due to starvation, without being able to do a thing about it. Even now he feels guilty for his inaction. Living under a tyrannous regime was bad enough, but what was much worse for Panh was the way in which that regime rendered him powerless, as well as depriving his life of the possibilities - both personal as well as professional - that could have been available in the pre-Pol Pot era. The "missing picture" cannot be recreated, however hard he tries. The film ends on a somber note, as Panh reminds us how much the souls of the millions who died during the Pol Pot regime still haunt those who survived. While efforts have been made to erase the past (a lake has been built over one of the mass graves), he still feels somehow united with the dead rather than the living - an indication, perhaps, of the emotional and physical consequences of tyranny. While THE MISSING PICTURE offers a country-specific interpretation of the past, its message should be heeded by everyone about the consequences of living under an absolutist government.
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