L'image manquante (The Missing Picture). 2013. Cambodia/France. Directed by Rithy Panh. DCP. In French; English subtitles. 92 min.
“The audacity of The Missing Picture —a brilliant documentary about a child who held on to life in Cambodia’s killing fields—is equaled only by its soulfulness” (Manohla Dargis, The New York Times). From Goya’s Black Paintings to Krzysztof Penderecki’s Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, artists across the ages have attempted to find an aesthetic form adequate to understanding and portraying unspeakable evil. A Cannes prizewinner and Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language film, Rithy Panh’s The Missing Picture belongs to this long and essential tradition of depicting hell on earth. Scenes of clay and wood spirit-figurines (exquisitely carved and painted by Sarith Mang) are interwoven with Khmer Rouge propaganda footage, a bitter contrast between the official story propagated by the Pol Pot regime and the harrowing realities of forced labor and reeducation camps, famine, torture, and murder. Courtesy Strand Releasing