category Traumas




Romanian, English


L'image manquante


In this original and devastating film, Rithy Panh uses clay figurines to re-enact the atrocities perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979. Starting from his own family story, Rithy Panh reconstructs the Cambodia of his childhood and its sudden transformation in a concentrationary nightmare in which most of his loved ones perished one by one, together with one quarter of the country’s population. This is a story that belongs to the victims, and not to the executioners. A measured and poetic narrator played by the French-Cambodian mathematician and actor Randal Douc, as well as a soundtrack of old Cambodian songs give these victim their voice – and stand in stark contrast with the haunting silence of the missing images reconstructed out of dirt and cloth patches. In their somber dioramas, the melancholy clay miniatures appear charged with emotions and individuality, unlike the disconcerting Khmer Rouge appearing in old propaganda films. This hybrid and personal film is an act of restitution: official images are undermined by the private memory of victims which preserves, indelibly, what the Pol Pot regime wanted to erase.

Interview with the producer.


2014 - DokuFest, Kosovo, Special Mention Human Rights Competition

2014 - Istanbul International Film Festival, Turkey, Film Award of the Council of Europe

2013 - Academy Awards, USA, Best Foreign Language Film Nomination

2013 - Cannes, France, Un Certain Regard Award

2013 - Jerusalem Film Festival, Israel, Best Documentary

2013 - London Film Festival, UK, Grierson Award Nomination

2013 - Chicago International Film Festival, USA

2013 - Cinemanila, Philippines, Grand Jury Prize

2013 - European Film Awards, Best Documentary Award Nomination


Films Distribution