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The Missing Picture(L'image manquante)

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Cambodia, France · 2013
1h 35m
Director Rithy Panh
Starring Randal Douc
Genre Documentary

Rithy Panh uses clay figures, archival footage, and his narration to recreate the atrocities Cambodia's Khmer Rouge committed between 1975 and 1979.

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Total Film by

Panh’s commentary – spoken in French by Randal Douc – searingly sets the context.


The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

The Missing Picture might have felt academic, even coldly removed, were it not for its scathing narration, penned by Panh (with Christophe Bataille) and read by Randal Douc.


The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

If some elements are more successful than others in achieving a balance between the public and the private, between the story of a nation’s ruination and that of a family’s annihilation, it remains a shocking, poignant and soulful tribute to lives ended and to innocence lost in the country’s notorious Killing Fields.


Variety by Justin Chang

The film is a brave act of witness complicated by the documaker’s decision to re-create his experiences using clay figurines, a tricky aesthetic device that raises fascinating and problematic questions of representation.


Slant Magazine by Nick McCarthy

Paramount to molding a narrative of war and totalitarianism, however, is the inventive aesthetic in which Panh frames his memoir: a hypnotic hybrid of bleak archival footage, thoughtful voiceover, tone-dictating music, and—most significantly—homemade clay-figurine dioramas.


Time Out London by Trevor Johnston

The effect is talismanic: overlaid by a thoughtful voiceover, it invites the audience to share the pain in a cathartic act of imaginative reclamation.

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