Filmmaker Rithy Panh has spent his career documenting and reflecting on the atrocities committed in his homeland by the Khmer Rouge. During Pol Pot’s dictatorship, Panh watched most of his family members disappear – some were taken away, others died slowly of starvation. In The Missing Picture, Panh revisits his own memories of those four years in the late 70s when millions of lives were extinguished and a culture was almost eradicated, through spoken words and “missing” images. Since all personal belongings were destroyed by the regime, Panh actually had to create his images of his family life and pre-1975 Phnom Penh out of clay, plasticene, fabrics and other materials. The stillness of these little dioramas, of scenes both good (bustling streets, cozy kitchens and living rooms) and bad (life on a collective farm, working in the fields), acquires sad, unearthly overtones – this is a becalmed and lucid recounting of a nightmare.

Travel support generously provided by Unifrance.