The Missing Picture

The Missing Picture ★★★★


Exactly the sort of grim memoir that I find oppressive when it's done conventionally; the layer of abstraction imposed by the clay figures makes all the difference. Wish Panh had been a bit more rigorous in his use of the conceit—I detected little rhyme or reason, apart from strict utility, in the way he jumps around between modes, or in e.g. the occasional superimposition of figurines onto archival footage (which is quite effective)—but overall it's an uncannily moving experience, enhanced by beautifully written and performed (in French, by an actor standing in for Panh) voiceover narration. A valuable companion piece to S21.