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The Missing Picture

Rithy Panh

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Festival year: 2014

No interviews with perpetrators and victims like in his earlier films S21 and Duch, but clay figures and found footage are the means by which Rithy Panh recounts his own history during the Khmer Rouge dictatorship. He has no other choice: besides the Khmer’s propaganda, there is no recorded material from that time.

Synopsis

Halfway through life, the images of our childhood return, explains the voice-over. And they are bittersweet. But Panh, almost 50, has to create them himself, because besides the Khmer’s propaganda, there is no recorded material from that time.
The voice-over is based on texts from Panh’s book The Elimination. We see a single photo cutout of brothers and sisters, from a happy time before Pol Pot’s troops stormed the capital with their ‘pure revolution’. But, the voice-over explains, it began with purity and ended with hate. Hundreds of clay figures stand frozen in landscapes as the camera wanders over them; silent witnesses filling in for those with a voice. Images like these raise questions about representation. If all historic images and reconstructions are fictitious, how to make a gruesome history comprehensible without resorting to bogus drama and sensation? What is the essence?
In 2001 director Rithy Panh won the award for Best Film at the Movies that Matter Festival.

Credits

Cambodia, France 2013, 95 min.

Documentary,

Spoken language: French

Subtitles: Dutch

Productions:

Catherine Dussart Productions

cdp@cdpproductions.fr

+33 146050022

www.cdpproductions.fr

Dutch distribution:

Contact Film

info@contactfilm.nl

+31 264434949

http://www.contactfilm.nl/

World sales:

Films Distribution

info@filmsdistribution.com

+33 (0)1 53 10 33 99

www.filmsdistribution.com

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Human rights
crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide
food & hunger
freedom of opinion, association etc.
political killings & disappearances
torture
truth commissions & historical investigation
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