2001-2010DocumentaryFranceRithy PanhWar

Rithy Panh – S21, la machine de mort Khmère rouge aka S21, the Khmer Rouge Killing Machine [+Extra] (2003)

“I survived because they liked my paintings,” says Vann Nath in this unsettling documentary, an affecting and effective film. This placid artist was imprisoned along with 17,000 other Cambodians in a Phnom Penh high school that had been converted into a Khmer Rouge interrogation and torture center. The school was used for this purpose for two years during the Khmer Rouge reign of terror (1975 to 1979), when as many as a million people died. In the film, he returns there to confront the men who worked as guards, really boys doing the Devil’s work: at the time, they ranged from 13 to their early 20’s. At one point the director shows the former guards recreating their grisly everyday tasks as a kind of pantomime. Watching them re-enact their chores in the large, stained and now empty rooms, which look like those in almost any American high school – while piles of the dead prisoners’ abandoned clothes sit heaped nearby – is simply one of the most disorienting moments you’re likely to encounter in a movie. – Elvis Mitchell

1.29GB | 1h 40m | 640×480 | avi


Language(s):Khmer, Vietnamese
Subtitles: English hard

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