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MISSING PICTURE, The

Cambodia / France, 2013 (MIFF 2013, Accent on Asia)

Director: Rithy Panh

Propaganda reels and hundreds of clay figures cleverly combine in this autobiographical documentary of childhood under Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime.

As the only family survivor of Pol Pot's reign of terror (1975–1979), Cambodian-French director Rithy Panh (S21, The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, MIFF 2004) has been searching for images all his life. While already a pre-eminent filmmaker and chronicler of Cambodia's genocide, he shifts to his own childhood recollections with The Missing Picture.

Unable to locate a photo, Panh uses hundreds of clay figures to convey the action; hand-carved and hand-painted, these figures stand in for Panh's parents and family, along with key perpetrators. Scratchy, monochrome stills from archival propaganda footage are eerily juxtaposed with these colourful, miniature people.

Winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize at Cannes, The Missing Picture artfully explores Panh's filmic preoccupation with how to represent and remember all that's been lost.

D/S Rithy Panh P Catherine Dussart Dist Sharmill Films L French w/English subtitles TD DCP/2013

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