The Missing Picture, Rithy Panh (Cambodia/France, 2013)Pacific Film Archive Theater (2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA, United States) Map it $9
2014 Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film
(L’image manquante). A daunting task that continues to confront media makers is how to represent the unrepresentable—calamities and atrocities of unimaginable magnitude. And, why must we do so? The challenge is even greater when the media maker himself is a survivor. Such is the case for veteran filmmaker Rithy Panh, who has committed his life to probing and exposing the Cambodian genocide and its aftermath. Among his eighteen narrative dramas and documentaries, including Catch (SFIAAFF 2012) and S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, his latest work is his most personal. Having toiled in labor camps as a boy and watched his entire family die, he prepares to grapple with this childhood memory that is “pounding at my temple” thirty-five years later. Using clay figures, archival footage, and live action, Panh materializes the missing pictures for us, his companion witnesses. We see more than the past becoming present: we see how and why. Stunningly vivid and achingly intimate, Panh’s essayistic and elegiac narrative rightfully garnered him the 2013 Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes.
• Written by Panh. Photographed by Panh, Prum Messa. Narrated by Randal Douc. (90 mins, English voiceover, Color, DCP)