The Missing Picture is screening at the Center for Contemporary Arts Cinematheque in Santa Fe, starting April 4. Check here for showtimes. If you are nearby join CFile on April 10 at the CCA Cinemateque to view the film and discuss it with Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio. This is a CFile Home Team event.
In the expanded work of clay there is the cinema of claymation. Usually this is used for humor, satire and cartoons because of its ability to charm. Not a typical claymation in any way (the figures do not move, but are filmed in vignettes) The Missing Picture (an Oscar foreign film nominee) subverts this tendency towards the lighthearted and takes on a gruesome subject of the Cambodian Genocide orchestrated by the Khmer Rouge. It is an extraordinary film doing the rounds of the art movie houses and is worth seeking out.
Director Rithy Panh explains his mission with this project.
For many years, I have been looking for the missing picture: a photograph taken between 1975 and 1979 by the Khmer Rouge when they ruled over Cambodia… On its own, of course, an image cannot prove mass murder, but it gives us cause for thought, prompts us to meditate, to record History. I searched for it vainly in the archives, in old papers, in the country villages of Cambodia. Today I know: this image must be missing. I was not really looking for it; would it not be obscene and insignificant? So I created it. What I give you today is neither the picture nor the search for a unique image, but the picture of a quest: the quest that cinema allows.”
From Hugh Hart’s Review on fastocreate.com:
The film’s hand-made aesthetic summons elemental forces of nature well-suited to a child’s point of view, said Panh. “When I was a young boy, we did not have toys like today so we’d go to the river, collect the clay and produce animals and little characters. In this era of digital special effects, I think it’s good to work with our hands and our hearts, to use water and clay, to dry it in the air from the sun. This brings you back to the element of life.”
The Missing Picture Official Trailer (2013). An Oscar Nominated Film.