review

'Funan': serene and restrained

Onze score

Feature-length animated films for adult audiences are relatively rare, but this week, no fewer than two very fine specimens are coming to our cinemas.

Another Day of Life is based on the book of the same name in which journalist and author Ryszard Kapuscinski describes how the Cold War made the civil war in Angola even more horrific than it already was. With less violence and more delicacy, Funan describes an even worse and even darker tragedy.

In the second half of the 1970s, Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge tried to turn Cambodia into a perfectly egalitarian state by re-educating the population in work camps, denying the famine, torturing or murdering opponents, and rewarding traitors.

Director Denis Do shows no interest in depicting the unimaginable cruelty and has chosen a human approach. The graphically quite sober film sketches a picture of the daily life – a struggle to survive – of a young mother who is desperately looking for the young child that she lost during an endless, miserable march to a work camp. Do based the film on the story of his own mother, but he tells it in a remarkably serene and restrained way. The events it narrates are bad enough as it is.

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