Rithy Panh is a film-maker, historian and survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide who has fashioned a vibrant career out of excavating the past. The Missing Picture follows on from his earlier films, Rice People and S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, in tackling the horrors of the Pol Pot era, although on this occasion the approach is so nakedly personal and so honeycombed with open-ended questions that it amounts to a bewitching form of self-therapy.
On the cusp of middle age, Panh has decided to re-enact his 1970s childhood with the aid of painted clay figurines. The effect is haunting; at once intimate and oddly distancing, a means of framing old traumas and thereby controlling the story. Panh shows us how the revolution falls like a black curtain on the land,