Oscars date for clay figure that stars in Cambodian film The Missing Picture

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 March, 2014, 3:13am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 March, 2014, 5:38pm

The star of one Oscar-nominated foreign film won't be taking a limo to the ceremony. He'll be arriving in his director's pocket.

Rithy Panh, the filmmaker behind the Cambodian entry The Missing Picture, revealed that he would be carrying around the clay figurine that serves as the main character in his film in the countdown to the Oscars ceremony this morning (HK time).

"Clay is good," Panh, 51, said. "After the film (was finished), he's been travelling with me a little bit. Maybe he will turn back to clay, water or dust, and there will be no trace - just one soul living with us for ever."

Unlike the other foreign film nominees, The Missing Picture stars hundreds of similarly carved clay figures - not actors - to illustrate how the Khmer Rouge regime left more than 1.7 million people dead from starvation, medical neglect, slave-like working conditions and execution in Cambodia.

"I tried to make a fiction, but it is not possible for me," Panh said. "Maybe it's more possible for people who did not live during a genocide to direct actors on how to die and kill, but it seemed to me a little too hard for someone who lived during a genocide."

The Missing Picture, the first-ever Oscar-nominated film from Cambodia, is up against Belgium's The Broken Circle Breakdown, Denmark's The Hunt, Italy's The Great Beauty and Palestine's Omar.

The use of the word "Palestine" is new language by the academy.


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