THE MISSING PICTURE // Cambodia’s foreign film entry “The Missing Picture” is a multi-media exploration of the Kampuchean Revolution in 1975, of which very few images remain. To counteract these “missing pictures”, the filmmaker creates clay models of himself and many of the surrounding Cambodians to reenact the damage done by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. The real marvel of the film is the inclusion of the archival footage that does remain from that time period and the haunting nature that is evoked from these images. A feeling similarly produced by that of the Holocaust imagery, these men, women, and children are ripped from their homes, forced to work the rice fields, carrying fertilizer barefoot on the hard ground, all while being given very little to eat and being left to sleep in the wilderness. The narrator is extremely articulate and carries you though the documentary with ease. One of the only things working against the film is the constant shuffle between the revolution and the time prior to the interment, leaving the viewer slightly confused as to what is happening when and how they got there. However, the haunting archival footage is worth seeing the film alone. Not a definitive history class topic, “The Missing Picture” covers a particular poignant historical tragedy that is not often spoken of but resonates as a topic that is just as impacting as any high profile history lesson.
[Directed by Rithy Panh] [NR] [92 min] [30 September 2013]