The Missing Picture


Panh’s animated nightmare

Nominated for this year's foreign-film Oscar, French-Cambodian director Rithy Panh’s documentary revisits the unfathomable horror of the Khmer Rouge.

Using newsreels and – poignantly – clay figurines, Panh attempts to come to terms with the communist regime that starved his family. The posed scenes of clay cruelty function as a coping mechanism as much as a visual tool.

Any concerns that the figurines might be just a gimmick are soon washed away – the sense of raw pain, wrought by a wound that will never heal, feels very real.

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