The Missing Picture

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L’Image manquante

“A profoundly personal meditation… moving and remarkably resonant.” — Geoff Andrew, Sight & Sound

Director: Rithy Panh
Year: 2013
Country: Cambodia, France
Running time: 90 mins
Censor Rating: R13 - violence, content may disturb

Producer: Catherine Dussart
Screenplay: Rithy Panh, Christophe Bataille
Photography: Prum Mesa
Editors: Rithy Panh, Marie-Christine Rougerie
Sound: Eric Tisserand
Music: Marc Marder
Narrator: Randal Douc
In French with English subtitles
Colour and B&W/DCP

Festivals: Cannes (Un Certain Regard) 2013
Un Certain Regard Prize, Cannes Film Festival 2013

Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh’s perennial project is to bear witness to the history that the Khmer Rouge, with terrible effectiveness, systematically consigned to oblivion. In this remarkable new film, winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes this year, he enlists a mix of narration, propaganda footage, music, photos and tiny carved models. 

“A recreation of the era and Panh’s personal anecdotes is accomplished through the creation of countless clay figures – carved and painted, we see, by hand, out of ‘earth and water’ – staged in static scenes through which the camera moves and the director cuts. They fill in a gap, the missing image of the title: a missing photographic record of the human experience of the horror and oppression behind the government’s official ideology… Panh’s narration with moving straightforwardness segues between historical recount, deeply personal recollections, and broader criticism, illustrated by the savagely naïve and thereby at once terrifying and sweet figures of his clay populace.” — Daniel Kasman,