The Khmer Rouge slaughtered nearly two million people in the late 1970s. Yet the Killing Fields of Cambodia remain unexplained. Until now. Enter Thet Sambath, an unassuming, yet cunning, ... See full summary »
In Rithy Panh's latest exploration of the lasting effects of the Cambodian genocide, a 13-year-old boy who loses most of his family begins a search for their graves.Cambodian-born, ... See full summary »
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[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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The Khmer Rouge tried to leave no traces of the Cambodian genocide (1975-79). It could be a crime for anyone outside the Party to have pencil and paper, not to mention camera or tape recorder. Scarcely any images got out.
Rithy Panh was thirteen when his family was rounded up. along with the other residents of Phnom Penh, and sent to "re-education" camps and then five years of starvation and rural labor. Now as a survivor looking back at those years, he uses simple clay figures to represent the people who died unrecorded. He juxtaposes them with scraps of propaganda films and other footage, and with manufactured landscapes, while narrating a major 20th century horror story that's also a personal and national tragedy.
The film takes all kinds of aesthetic risks: the images are complexly beautiful, but they dare to seem simplistic or naïve, or to skirt "bad taste." The simplicity is more than justified though, as The Missing Picture does recapture a lost time, the artistic triumph inseparable from the human triumph.
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