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The Missing Picture (2014)



Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 74
Fresh: 73 | Rotten: 1

Thrillingly unorthodox and emotionally searing without being didactic, The Missing Picture is a uniquely poignant documentary -- and so much more.


Average Rating: 8.7/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 0

Thrillingly unorthodox and emotionally searing without being didactic, The Missing Picture is a uniquely poignant documentary -- and so much more.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 4,132

My Rating

Movie Info

SYNOPSIS: 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


Documentary, Drama

Jun 10, 2014


Strand Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (74) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (73) | Rotten (1)

In narration that is poetic and historically astute, Panh layers his own memoir atop his nation's.

April 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Many films have examined from many vantages the Khmer Rouge's nightmare reign, notably Roland Joffé's 1985 Oscar winner The Killing Fields.

April 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
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As haunting as it is haunted, "The Missing Picture" leaves viewers' heads rattling with ghosts.

April 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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A uniquely subjective account of the Cambodian genocide of the 1970s, "The Missing Picture" is the work of Rithy Panh, a Cambodian native who left his homeland when he was an adolescent.

April 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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[It] aspires to a poetry about barbarism that will not let us forget.

April 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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The film captures how Pol Pot took Mao's Great Leap Forward to new levels of Marxist madness.

March 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
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The Missing Picture is a haunting and sobering documentary that not only mesmerises with its narrative but also impresses with its collage of techniques that merge seamlessly to give us something truly unique on screen.

July 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Quickflix

It was an act of utter destruction, a people not just killed but their entire culture erased. Panh's poignant and innovative documentary is an act of creation, remaking the forgotten Cambodia, one clay figure at a time.

June 13, 2014 Full Review Source: Madison Movie
Madison Movie

Rithy Panh turns a potential gimmick into a profound, inspiring film. Then, in expanding his scope to the propaganda machine of that regime, he reaches straight into the heart of evil and finds cinema.

June 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Nonfics

Cambodia's first-ever nominee for best foreign-language film is part-documentary, part-memoir, and impossible to forget or ignore.

May 29, 2014 Full Review Source: National Post
National Post

Dioramas of Cambodia's Killing Fields

April 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Though difficult at times to watch, it bears potent and personal witness to an era that, like all such tragedies, should never be forgotten.

April 16, 2014 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Rithy Panh's cinema is an exemplary case of the imperative to bear witness.

April 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

A juxtaposition of horror and beauty that's a must-see.

April 4, 2014 Full Review Source:

A melancholy tone poem, a remembrance of what Cambodia lost.

April 4, 2014 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express


April 3, 2014 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

Creatively relives Cambodian holocaust and surmounts the storytelling problem intrinsic to retelling horrors. . . in 1st-person narration with unusual visual illustration.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source:

Rithy Panh tells his story with the events recreated, with his many clay figures and settings, from his memories of the atrocities as a boy.

March 30, 2014 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

In Panh's deft hands, the film becomes not just a recreation of a reality long gone, but an indication of ever-present melancholia for an entire people.

March 22, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

The result is a stunning mediation on loss and memory, with no shortage of anger to boost the narrative.

March 21, 2014 Full Review Source: UR Chicago Magazine

What remains disturbing and puzzling is the realisation that somewhere along the line the real and the false change places, and that Panh is able to move us more deeply with his dioramas than by telling the same atrocious story in a straightforward way.

March 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Audience Reviews for The Missing Picture

Cambodia's foreign film entry "The Missing Picture" is a multi-media exploration of the Kampuchean Revolution in 1975, of which very few images remain. To counteract these "missing pictures", the filmmaker creates clay models of himself and many of the surrounding Cambodians to reenact the damage done by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. The real marvel of the film is the inclusion of the archival footage that does remain from that time period and the haunting nature that is evoked from these images. A feeling similarly produced by that of the Holocaust imagery, these men, women, and children are ripped from their homes, forced to work the rice fields, carrying fertilizer barefoot on the hard ground, all while being given very little to eat and being left to sleep in the wilderness. The narrator is extremely articulate and carries you though the documentary with ease. One of the only things working against the film is the constant shuffle between the revolution and the time prior to the interment, leaving the viewer slightly confused as to what is happening when and how they got there. However, the haunting archival footage is worth seeing the film alone. Not a definitive history class topic, "The Missing Picture" covers a particular poignant historical tragedy that is not often spoken of but resonates as a topic that is just as impacting as any high profile history lesson.
May 17, 2014

Super Reviewer

    1. Narration: Silence is the loudest scream
    – Submitted by Arjun K (3 months ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • The missing picture (DE)
  • The Missing Picture (UK)
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