image from the film Funan

image from the animated film FUNAN

As she survives the grim work camps of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, Chou is determined to locate her missing 4-year-old son and reunite her family in this debut animation from France’s Denis Do, based on his family history. “Do and his team of animators fill Funan with striking imagery, its vibrant colors providing a vivid contrast to the dismal proceedings. Thousands of homeless people walk across the screen quietly, as birds tweet serenely in the background. Starving, desolate folks board skeletal boats against a rainy, tangerine sunset. Emerald rice is being planted in azure water, in endless parallel rows. A trail of ants converges into a teardrop-like formation at the end of a branch. Ashes float over the embers of what once was… Do has created a tense, heartbreaking ode to a tragic time; a deeply personal story, superbly visualized.” (Film Threat)

Funan is a stunning piece of animation in which the beauty of the visuals and the horror of the situation are inextricably intertwined.” (Kenneth Turan, LA Times). Winner of the top prizes at the Annecy Animation Festival and the Animation is Film Festival.