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 film-makers create 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 is the inclusion of the archival footage that does remain and the haunting nature, similar to that of the Holocaust, as these men, women, and children are ripped from their homes, forced to work the rice fields, carrying fertilizer barefoot on the hard ground, and then given little to eat and 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 past, prior to the interment, leaving the viewer slightly confused. However, the haunting archival footage is worth seeing the film alone. “The Missing Picture” is currently not a favorite to win and actually lands at the bottom of the list, but for those of you on the fence of seeing this film, it is definitely worth a viewing, especially since this topic is not one to be covered in most high school history classes. This is also Cambodia’s first ever Oscar nomination.
// Produced by Catherine Dussart Productions // Directed by Rithy Panh //
// Dated Viewed: Friday, February 21st, 2014 // Long Beach’s Art Theater // 8 films – 10 days //