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Mixed media in Cambodia's 'Missing Picture' presents a powerful message

It's good to welcome back to the big screen "The Missing Picture," one of the five foreign language Oscar nominees, a personal and unexpected documentary that mixes media in an unusual way to very potent effect. Directed by Rithy Panh, "Missing Picture" is the Cambodian filmmaker's poetic investigation into the nightmarish horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime that ruled his country in the mid-1970s. This film makes extensive use of dozens of small clay figures, hand-carved, carefully painted and displayed in elaborate dioramas that represent all aspects of life before and after the takeover. When this hand-created world is combined with newsreel footage as a joint evocation of the past, the effect is more haunting than one would imagine. Playing at Laemmle's Royal in West Los Angeles, Playhouse 7 in Pasadena and Claremont 5 in Claremont.

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