S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (S21, la machine de mort Khmere Rouge)
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S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (S21, la machine de mort Khmere Rouge)
The brutality of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime is documented in Rithy Panh's documentary, S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine. S21 was a notorious detention center, an abandoned suburban schoolhouse used by the Angkor (the Communist Party organization) for the imprisonment and torture of thousands of innocent citizens. Prisoners were tortured until they confessed to false crimes, and were also ordered to incriminate others. Of the approximately 17,000 prisoners who were interred there, about seven survived. Panh interviews two of the survivors, Vann Nath and Chum Mey. While Mey can… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A haunting look at the historical amnesia that envelops countries or regimes after officially sanctioned barbarism."
‑ Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
"Devastating."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Offers one of the most powerful and unforgettable looks at evil."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Panh ... simply lets his subjects tell the story, and the words create an unrelenting and often hard-to-take portrait of a national despair."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"It's not the kind of movie you would want to see more than once, but it opens your eyes to another period in history when man shows his capacity for inhumanity."
‑ Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone, TheMovieChicks.com
"A modest but nonetheless devastating documentary."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"At a moment when issues of torture loom so large in our world, S21 testifies to the chilling ease with which ordinary men can cross the line into homicidal sadism."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"...a powerful film indeed."
‑ Scott Weinberg, DVDTalk.com
"A potent reminder that history is glutted with proof that trials, convictions and imprisonment for those accused of crimes against humanity offer no deterrent."
‑ Maria Garcia, Film Journal International
"A necessary and haunting examination of how corrupt systems can create corrupt individuals to serve them."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Cinema at its most intellectually honest and morally necessary."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Serves as a potent and necessary reminder of how easily war can defeat the humanity of the good and the well-intentioned."
‑ Jan Stuart, Newsday
""S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine" makes an articulate and cogent argument that should be seen and heard."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"It's quietly effective and serves as stark reminder of the horrors that can result from blind obedience."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"It is not a film-which unflinchingly captures a still festering wound on humanity-you are likely to forget."
‑ Elias Savada, Nitrate Online