IDFA - Exile

A poetic, artistic recreation of the early memories of director Rithy Panh, the only member of his family to survive the genocide in Cambodia.

In Exile, Rithy Panh returns to the themes of The Missing Picture: his personal experiences of the Khmer Rouge regime. The film’s title refers to the banishment of his family from the capital of Phnom Penh to the countryside. Panh was the only member of his family to survive the genocide. He depicts the loss of his identity in his teenage years, the loss of his family, the hunger and the forced labor in poetic images full of symbolism.

The principal setting is a hut, which forms the backdrop for many different tableaux, some of which are created using special effects, such as a scene that features three floating rocks. Interspersed with archive footage, the visually stunning images are accompanied by a voice-over that switches between reflections on revolution and ideology and more personal memories. The text includes quotes from Mao Zedong, Baudelaire and Robespierre. Actor Sang Nan lends his voice to Panh’s alter ego.

(idfa)