7.3/10
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13 user 29 critic

S-21, la machine de mort Khmère rouge (2003)

A unique documentary on the notorious S-21 prison, today the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with testimony by the only surviving prisoners and former Khmer Rouge guards.

Director:

Rithy Panh

Writer:

Rithy Panh

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13 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Khieu 'Poev' Ches Khieu 'Poev' Ches ... Himself - Guard
Yeay Cheu Yeay Cheu ... Herself - Him Houy's Mother
Nhem En Nhem En ... Himself - Photographer (as Nhiem Ein)
Houy Him Houy Him ... Himself - Security deputy
Ta Him Ta Him ... Himself - Him Houy's Father
Nhieb Ho Nhieb Ho ... Himself - Guard
Prakk Kahn Prakk Kahn ... Himself - the Torturer
Peng Kry Peng Kry ... Himself - Driver
Som Meth Som Meth ... Himself - Guard
Chum Mey Chum Mey ... Himself - Survivor
Vann Nath ... Himself - Survivor
Top Pheap Top Pheap ... Himself - Interrogator & Typist
Tcheam Seur Tcheam Seur ... Himself - Guard
Sours Thi Sours Thi ... Himself - Head of Registers
Mak Thim Mak Thim ... Himself - S21 Doctor
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Storyline

Between 1975 and 1979, the communist inspired Khmer Rouge waged a campaign of terror and mass murder on Cambodia's population. Up to 1.7 mill. Cambodians lost their lives to famine, hard labor and murder as the urban population was forced into the countryside to fulfill the Khmer Rouge's dream of an agrarian utopia. In the former Security Prison 21 (code-named "S21"), which was once a high school and is today the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, director Rithy Panh brings two of the few survivors back to discuss what happened there between 1975 and 1979. Painter Vann Nath survived by chance and didn't suffer the same fate as 17,000 other men, women and children who were taken there, tortured and their so-called 'crimes' meticulously documented to justify their execution. The ex-Khmer Rouge guards respond to Nath's questions with excuses, chilling stoicism or apparent remorse as they recount the atrocities they committed at ages as young as 12 years old. To escape torture, the prisoners ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Cambodia | France

Language:

Khmer | Vietnamese

Release Date:

11 February 2004 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine See more »

Filming Locations:

Phnom Penh, Cambodia See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,302, 23 May 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,678, 22 August 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
The Banality of Evil.
24 September 2006 | by cobram-1See all my reviews

I have read the other comments on here and think that many people missed the point. This documentary illustrated the banality of evil very powerfully; it did not preach or try to shove the makers' opinion down the viewers' throat, like SO many other so-called documentaries do. This is not one of those "documentaries" which show edited footage and historical footage as a mere backdrop to put forth someone's opinion. That's what made it so powerful, to see the people who committed this incomprehensible evil and those that suffered it asking their own questions, trying to make sense of it all, trying to justify it, analyzing their roles in real time as the cameras roll. It was very evident that this was the first time many of them had questioned themselves on what they had done. The repetitive re-enactment and explanation of the guard's day to day activities were horrific in their normality. Even after all these years, after all that's happened, these men had no qualms about showing the world their routines, making it obvious that they don't equate their actions directly to the effects it had on their fellow country men and women. One has to remember that the guards were brain washed and indoctrinated by the communists at a very young age. This can be directly equated with what's happening in the world today with militant Islam. They're creating their own amoral killers and fanatics by indoctrinating and brain washing children. If nothing else, this documentary shows how once indoctrinated at a young age with fanatical ideology, all that remains for the rest of that persons life is an empty shell incapable of comprehending basic humanity.


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