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Missing Picture (Bilingual) [Import]


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Product Details

  • Format: AC-3, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Strand Home Video
  • Release Date: June 10 2014
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B00IP347BM

Product Description

The Missing Picture

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By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on March 30 2014
Format: DVD
This was Cambodia's entrance for the 2014 Oscars as best foreign language film. It tells the story of Rithy Panh who narrates his tale of what happened to him and his loved ones when Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia. Renaming it Kampuchea and taking the country back to year zero. He uses a mix of archive footage and clay figures which have been carved by hand to recreate what took place. The missing picture are the parts of history that was not photographed and as such only those who were there can bear witness to the atrocities that took place.

When the capital Pnom Penh was emptied - over two million people were uprooted and moved into the countryside. They had every modern thing taken away and were only allowed the clothes on their back - except the shoes and a spoon. The clothes had to be dyed black. They were forced to work in the collectivised camps often doing menial back breaking work that had no real value except to crush the will of the people. The individual as a concept was ended - the party was all that mattered. Death and disease were rampant and this is all told using the clay figures. The Khmer Rouge used to fire slogans at the people all day so that even now Rithy Panh can remember them all verbatim - like `Each being will be a revolutionary or fertiliser for rice'.

There are scenes of animal cruelty here from the archives too as well as humans being mistreated. It can be a difficult watch in places but the narrative is often quite poetic. It is all in French with good subtitles. A very moving and sad account of what this poor man went through and told in an unusual medium. Whilst it may seem to be less immediate because of the little figurines, it still packs quite a punch when you hear what took place in 1975 to 1979 to a country the world seemed to have forgotten about.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
`Sometimes a silence is a scream' March 30 2014
By Tommy Dooley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This was Cambodia's entrance for the 2014 Oscars as best foreign language film. It tells the story of Rithy Panh who narrates his tale of what happened to him and his loved ones when Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia. Renaming it Kampuchea and taking the country back to year zero. He uses a mix of archive footage and clay figures which have been carved by hand to recreate what took place. The missing picture are the parts of history that was not photographed and as such only those who were there can bear witness to the atrocities that took place.

When the capital Pnom Penh was emptied - over two million people were uprooted and moved into the countryside. They had every modern thing taken away and were only allowed the clothes on their back - except the shoes and a spoon. The clothes had to be dyed black. They were forced to work in the collectivised camps often doing menial back breaking work that had no real value except to crush the will of the people. The individual as a concept was ended - the party was all that mattered. Death and disease were rampant and this is all told using the clay figures. The Khmer Rouge used to fire slogans at the people all day so that even now Rithy Panh can remember them all verbatim - like `Each being will be a revolutionary or fertiliser for rice'.

There are scenes of animal cruelty here from the archives too as well as humans being mistreated. It can be a difficult watch in places but the narrative is often quite poetic. It is all in French with good subtitles. A very moving and sad account of what this poor man went through and told in an unusual medium. Whilst it may seem to be less immediate because of the little figurines, it still packs quite a punch when you hear what took place in 1975 to 1979 to a country the world seemed to have forgotten about.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Unique take on a human holocaust Aug. 19 2014
By Roland E. Zwick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
History, it is said, is written by the victors. But sometimes, it is the victims - or more accurately, the survivors - who get to do the writing. That is the case with Rithy Panh, a Cambodian who survived the horrors of life under the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Panh was a mere child when he suffered the loss of his parents and siblings in the various grueling work camps to which they had been consigned. As an adult, Panh went on to become a documentary filmmaker dedicated to telling his story to the world. It was a purge aimed mainly at the intelligentsia of Cambodian society - the well-off and educated - who posed the greatest threat to the regime's vision of a collectivist agrarian utopia.

Where, Panh asks, are all the pictures of children starving, of people being worked into the grave that more accurately portray the reality of this 20th Century holocaust? Somehow, those were not recorded and preserved for posterity. Instead, we get a series of grainy propaganda images - of workers seemingly happy in their toil, of leaders of the revolution inspiring the masses with their promises of a Communist paradise - that were officially sanctioned by the government. So Panh has taken it upon himself to provide the "missing" pictures the Pol Pot regime failed to provide to the world.

The Oscar-nominated documentary "The Missing Picture" is a stark, haunting illustration of what life was like under Pol Pot's brutal dictatorship. The director alternates between grainy, mostly black-and- white footage taken at the time and diorama-style re-creations using strategically arranged and intricately carved clay figurines. These frozen, expressionless figures, with their searching, unblinking eyes, lift the suffering that the actual people endured to a near-surreal level, while the wistful, soft-spoken narration by Jean-Baptiste Phou echoes the human tragedy at the core. Indeed, the approach Panh has taken manages to personalize a holocaust that, given its enormous breadth and scope - an estimated one to three million people died under the regime - would otherwise be incomprehensible to the human mind. "The Missing Picture," by "going small," paradoxically helps us to see the tragedy writ large.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Stark Depiction of Life Under the Pol Pot Regime May 26 2014
By Dr. Laurence Raw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Several reviewers have commented on the basic themes of Rithy Panh's documentary; what is perhaps more interesting is the way in which the title operates on two levels. First, Panh's film aims to fill in "the missing picture" of life in Cambodia under the Pol Pot regime. For most of the time, the only visual material available on this regime was propaganda films depicting an idealized world of workers happily contributing to the new country Kampuchea's collective sense of well-being. Through a mixture of clay figures and archive footage, Panh proves the opposite; most citizens had to get used to a combination of perpetual hunger and enforced labor. The clay figures are an important element of this film, suggesting that human beings can be rendered malleable in any way their makers/ captors choose. At another level, the film tries to recreate the "missing picture" of Panh's past; at the age of fifty, he looks back at his childhood in the pre-Pol Pot era, a world of color and variety that was ruthlessly swept away, as the people were forced to wear black and work inhumanly long hours in the rice-fields. The experience left an indelible mark on Panh's character, as he lost most of his family due to starvation, without being able to do a thing about it. Even now he feels guilty for his inaction. Living under a tyrannous regime was bad enough, but what was much worse for Panh was the way in which that regime rendered him powerless, as well as depriving his life of the possibilities - both personal as well as professional - that could have been available in the pre-Pol Pot era. The "missing picture" cannot be recreated, however hard he tries. The film ends on a somber note, as Panh reminds us how much the souls of the millions who died during the Pol Pot regime still haunt those who survived. While efforts have been made to erase the past (a lake has been built over one of the mass graves), he still feels somehow united with the dead rather than the living - an indication, perhaps, of the emotional and physical consequences of tyranny. While THE MISSING PICTURE offers a country-specific interpretation of the past, its message should be heeded by everyone about the consequences of living under an absolutist government.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have been interested in Cambodian history since working with ... July 21 2014
By Bradley Baldwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have been interested in Cambodian history since working with some survivors of the Khmer Rouge in the 1980's. I teach history at the high school level and believe my students would be able to understand the horror of it through the use of figurines in the movie. The amount of work and detail in the carvings is incredible. I found the movie fascinating.
4.5 stars... "Corpses eat better than us, they are never hungry" Aug. 25 2015
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"The Missing Picture" (2013 release from France/Cambodia, original title "L'image manquante"; 96 min.) is a documentary from Cambodian/French director Rithy Panh, who was 12 years old when the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia in 1975. Using a unique mix of archival footage (mostly shot by the Khmer Rouge regime itself) and careful reinactments with clay figures, Pahn shares with the world what it was like to grow up in Cambodia as a youngster in the pre-1975 years, and then what day-to-day life was like under the Khmer Rouge regime.

Couple of comments: this is truly one of the more remarkable documentaries that I have seen in a long, long time, and one that I will not forget easily. Cambodia was completely shut off from the rest of the world during the 4 years that the Khmer Rouge brutalized the Cambodian people, and as a result the only footage that exists from what happened happens to be filmed by the Khmer Rouge itself (not unlike, say, how the Nazis filmed their atrocities as well). Time and again, Panh juxtaposes the rhetoric and propaganda by Pol Pot and other Khmer Rouge leaders against the archival footage and the contrast between the propaganda and the reality of things couldn't be bigger. The use of the clay figures may seem strange at first, but it is a welcome `reprisal' from viewing the archival footage, and it allows Pahn to reconstruct images and scenes from his childhood which he so treasures. A note of caution in case this was not apparent yet: there are a number of shocking images and scenes in the documentary, to the point that I had to look away at times, so viewer beware. That does not make this movie any less compelling or important. Just like so many documentaries on, say, the Holocaust, people NEED to see this so that we can learn from it and (hopefully) prevent this from happening again. For that reason alone, this documentary should be compulsory viewing for all high school students, or certainly HS juniors and seniors. Please note that you have a choice of watching this in its original French language version, with the voice-over provided by director Panh himself (and with English subtitles), or an English-dubbed version. When you hear Panh's voice, you can feel his pain and anguish coming through. I listened to the English-dubbed version for a few minutes, just to check it out. So plain and basically unlistenable.

Given the importance of the topic, and the top-notch quality of this movie in general, it was good to see that this movie scored a 2014 Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Movie (it lost out unfortunately to the far less deserving and overrated Italian film "The Great Beauty"). If you are in the mood for a serious and at times harrowing and haunting lesson in history, by all means check this out. "The Missing Picture" is HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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