S21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: In 1975-79, the Khmer Rouge waged a campaign of genocide on Cambodia?s population. 1.7 million Cambodians lost their lives to famine and murder as the urban population was forced into the countryside to fulfill the Khmer Rouges' dream of an agrarian utopia. In S21, Panh brings two survivors back to the notorious Tuol Sleng prison (code-named "S21"), now a genocide museum where former Khmer Rouge are employed as guides. (First Run Features) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. The result is a history lesson both invaluable and horrific.
  2. Yet S21, unlike many documentaries about the Nazi era, isn't a sickening panorama of brutality. Shot on video, it's quiet and intimate.
  3. 80
    Cinema at its most intellectually honest and morally necessary.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Shattering documentary.
  5. 75
    Man's inhumanity to man is gruesomely detailed in S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine.
  6. 70
    A harrowing, unblinking look at the crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge, the genocidal regime that by some accounts killed off more than a quarter of Cambodia's population between 1975 and 1979.
  7. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    There's no shortage of existing docus on the subject, and Panh's doesn't bring either a fresh enough angle or enough new material to the table to justify its length.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jul 8, 2012
    As a foreigner living in Asia I have been able to go to Cambodia and see Ankor Wat, but not before seeing this film. It is disturbing but very thought provoking to highlight the terrible things that happened in this country to millions of people-as most of the world looked away. Brother #1, Year Zero....so many things to consider............. Collapse