What does this achieve that archival footage does not? The power of the director's retelling, perhaps - these have a kind of truth that comes from recollection rather than recorded image. It also lends to the sheer monotony of life under the Khmer Rouge - endless rows of workers ploughing away at dull, pale earth. Replicability and disposability - would we notice if the figures were changed in every shot?
A beautifully articulated memory of resistance by Panh and a powerful testimony of his family's tragedy. The clay-model narrative makes for an interesting dynamic; one that constantly conflicts with you in its emptiness and simplicity. An interesting tangent was Panh's comments on the medium of film and its relationship with truthfulness.
3-4. Interesting; I don't think I've ever seen a documentary where a fictionalized figure of the creator was used as a way of actualizing the creator's experiences to themselves. I also think it's really valuable as far as putting a human face to the people who suffered at the hands of Pol Pot. Echoing one of the film's final images, I hope the director was able to lay some of his childhood pain to rest.
That Rithy Panh's stand-in narrates in French can throw you off. He sounds like a Parisian rather than a French-educated Cambodian. Maybe there's a version in Khmer out there, otherwise this co-production smacks of the rehabilitation of France in these parts of Southeast Asia, as if it were payback for the French debacle in Vietnam, as if to say there are worse things -- i.e. Communism -- than colonialism.
"Are we seeking memories, or are memories seeking us?" That's pretty much the question raised by this mind blowing documentary. Rithy Panh embraces his subjectivity and delivers a poignant testimony of Pol Pot's totalitarian regime, only 40 years ago. No history skills needed to enjoy the experience, go for it.
This film is form equals function brilliance. The diorama form functions to objectify our understanding. Telling the story with literal objects allows the film to see suffering and ideological oppression and the dehumanizing gaze of the oppressor simultaneously. The personal essay which functions as the narration is also exemplary in combining historical fact and first-hand memory into a cogent, harrowing thought.
I feel terrible giving such a poor review to a movie with such an important topic, but...ugh. Nothing was done to keep the audience's attention - it was the film equivalent of a college professor speaking in monotone for a lecture. I wish I could say something good about it, but nothing was memorable enough.
Panh nuevamente invita a la reflexión a medida que acude a la memoria, no solamente la humana, sino también la fílmica, aquella que en tiempos de terror se fue fabricando con el fin de glorificar un discurso político. He ahí lo que Orson Welles afirmaba en F for fake, el cine como mecánica del engaño, o, como lo diría el mismo Panh, la imagen que está ausente, aquella que parece ser pero no es http://bit.ly/1w1z6dA