The Missing Picture

The Missing Picture  {L'IMAGe mANQUANTE}
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The Missing Picture
Cambodia, 2013, 92 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: France
Topics: Documentary, History
Program: Awards Buzz : Best Foreign Language Film
Language: French English Sub-Titles

Awards: Cannes Un Certain Regard: Best Film; Jerusalem In Spirit for Freedom: best documentary

How to represent loss and absence? The Khmer Rouge, the perpetrators of the genocide that decimated Cambodia in the late 1970s, did not just wage ideological war on the intelligentsia of their own country, they obliterated the film archives that existed at that time, creating a permanent vacuum.

Rithy Panh lost his father, mother and sisters to malnutrition as a child before escaping to Thailand in 1979, but has returned obsessively to document the scarred psyche of his native land in his work (including S-21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine and Rice People).

In "The Missing Picture", which won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes, Panh fashions hand-painted clay figures and dioramas to show us the lost world of metropolitan Phnom Penh in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the rice fields and labor camps to which its citizens were exiled, and the mass graves where many of them were dumped. These lovingly rendered images are juxtaposed with the unconsciously horrifying propaganda footage shot by the Khmer Rouge to memorialize the glorious Kampuchea Communist Revolution, while Panh’s haunting first-person narration places his family’s experience against the backdrop of history.

Winner: Best Film, Un Certain Regard, Cannes Film Festival

DIRECTOR: Rithy Panh
Producer: Catherine Dussart
Editor: Rithy Panh, Marie-Christine Rougerie
Screenwriter: Rithy Panh, Christope Bataille
Cinematographer: Prum Mesa
Music: Marc Marder
Principal Cast: Randal Douc
Filmography: Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell (2011)
The Sea Wall (2008)
Paper Cannot Wrap Ember (2007)
The Burnt Theatre (2005)
S21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine (2003)
The Land of the Wandering Souls (2000)
Rice People (1994)

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