The Missing Picture was inspired by the book Rithy Panh co-wrote with Christophe Bataille, The Elimination: A Survivor of the Khmer Rouge Confronts his Past and the Commandant of the Killing Fields (Clerkenwell Press, 2013). The film won the highest award of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard selection.
...'To make up for the pictures we don’t have, Panh uses small clay figurines, hundreds of them, painted, clothed, with individual expressions on their faces, and placed in meticulously detailed dioramas that he seems to have reconstructed from the memories of his youth. Among the first of these is a figure of Panh’s father, an official in the Ministry of Education in a white suit and dark tie who, in what Panh eventually came to see as a heroic act of resistance, starved himself to death rather than allowing himself to be treated as a farm animal by Cambodia’s rulers. There are scenes of Khmer Rouge hospitals where patients lay on beds of wooden planks. And, then there’s the scene in a village, again recreated with clay figurines, in which a nine year-old child who denounces his mother for eating a mango, an act of selfish individualism. Afterwards she is led into the forest and never returns.'
Richard Bernstein The New York Review of Books