Director Rithy Panh was just 11 in 1975, when the Khmer Rouge seized control of Cambodia and consigned him, his family and millions of others to slave labour. He lost all his loved ones and survived only by luck.
Now he has recreated that terrible experience in an imaginative way: intercutting Khmer Rouge propaganda (smiling peasants applauding their leaders) with staged tableaux in which clay figurines stand in place of the victims – himself included.
A distancing device, sure, but a moving one. Panh’s commentary – spoken in French by Randal Douc – searingly sets the context.