Previously at the ICA - Films

Rithy Panh, The Missing Picture, 2013

The Missing Picture

3 Jan 201412 Jan 2014

★★★★★ '… an instant candidate for the year's best documentary' Financial Times
★★★★★ 'an achingly sad, personal film about an inhumanity almost beyond imagining' Sunday Times
★★★★★ 'a powerful testament to incredible human resilience, movingly suffused by faith in the power of art' Time Out
★★★★★ The Independent

Having chronicled the Pol Pot regime in documentaries such as 2003’s S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, director Rithy Panh returns to the subject with this deeply felt account of a childhood endured in various Khmer Rouge labour camps.

After spending his early years in a comfortable middle-class household in Phnom Penh, Panh suffered profound hunger and brutality in conditions that saw the rest of his family perish. Looking back on the horrific events from middle age, he recreates his experiences with miniature clay figures. These totems of defiled childhood innocence fill the gap indicated in the title – the missing photographic record of the horror and oppression behind the government’s official ideology.

A searching rumination on the relationship between memory and trauma, The Missing Picture demands that we reflect on near-unimaginable suffering with sombre urgency and quiet insistence.

The Missing Picture, dir Rithy Panh, Cambodia/France 2013, 96 mins, cert 12A, French with English subtitles

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