Fifteen years after the barbarity of the Pol Pot regime, filmmaker Rity Panh returns to his homeland to make Neak Srê (Rice People). During the nearly four years of Khmer Rouge terror (1975 – 1979), tens of thousands of Cambodian children were killed, often in the most cruellest of ways.
Les gens de la rizières 4
The plot of the film is captivating, full of twists and turns, and Rithy Panh displays a visual sense of rare elegance, served by Christophe Pollock’s talented camera. VARIETY
It is a melodrama, a tragedy narrated in the minor mode – at the level of a handful of modest characters, with their feelings as visible springs of events. LE MONDE
A damning testimony on the decay of Cambodia. TELERAMA
The first images coming to my mind in connection with the horrors of war are not a city in ruins or a mass grave, but the eyes of the children who survived. These seven young actresses already know the price of life, maybe the only positive aspect of a war. This is what we tried to convey here. Pierre-Alain Meier
Rice People” is a delicate, low-key, beautifully lensed study of a rural Cambodian family that has the beauty but emotional distance of a moving tableau. First feature by Paris-based Cambodian director Rithy Panh should raise ripples on the fest circuit and be appreciated by enthusiasts of east Asian cinema, but its theatrical harvest looks iffy. VARIETY