Ferryman of Memories: The Films of Rithy Panh (Hardcover)

Ferryman of Memories: The Films of Rithy Panh By Deirdre Boyle Cover Image
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Ferryman of Memories: The Films of Rithy Panh is an unconventional book about an unconventional filmmaker. Rithy Panh survived the Cambodian genocide and found refuge in France where he discovered in film a language that allowed him to tell what happened to the two million souls who suffered hunger, overwork, disease, and death at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. His innovative cinema is made with people, not about them—even those guilty of crimes against humanity.  Whether he is directing Isabelle Huppert in The Sea Wall, following laborers digging trenches, or interrogating the infamous director of S-21 prison, aesthetics and ethics inform all he does.  With remarkable access to the director and his work, Deirdre Boyle introduces readers to Panh’s groundbreaking approach to perpetrator cinema and dazzling critique of colonialism, globalization, and the refugee crisis. Ferryman of Memories reveals the art of one of the masters of world cinema today, focusing on nineteen of his award-winning films, including Rice People, The Land of Wandering Souls, S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, and The Missing Picture.

About the Author

DEIRDRE BOYLE is professor emerita of media studies at The New School in New York where she directed the Graduate Certificate in Documentary Media Studies. She is a writer, media historian, and psychotherapist. Her books include Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited, among others. She has received Guggenheim and Asian Cultural Council fellowships as well as writing residencies at MacDowell and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.


Praise For…

"I do not know another film director today with a more complete understanding of human experience--of its precariousness and pain as well as its deepest joys. Rithy Panh presents the harshest of realities in a way that dwells on beauty, sensuality, and light. He paints with the lightest of touches, using music, pacing, and timing with the precision, emotion, and unity of an orchestra. Ferryman of Memories is a welcome introduction to his unique work.”
— Angelina Jolie

"Boyle focuses on Cambodian documentary director/screenwriter Rithy Panh, who has published five books, produced 20 feature films, established a film center in Cambodia, and been acclaimed worldwide. [Ferryman of Memories] examines each film, folding them into the narrative of Panh’s life. An admirable book that will likely increase visibility of Panh’s remarkable films."
— Library Journal, STARRED

"Through her deep engagement with Rithy Panh and his films, Boyle offers us a timely reminder of Cambodia’s difficult history, of superpower complicity, and how the impact of the Khmer Rouge’s short brutal reign continues to mark Cambodian people today."
— Annie Goldson

 “Deirdre Boyle's training as both media historian and psychotherapist provides a major resonance in this outstanding book on one of current cinema's best directors, Rithy Panh. Moving between personal memoir and film analysis, Boyle sweeps the reader into the Cambodian genocide as an extraordinary chapter in twentieth-century history.”
— Raya Morag

"Like Claude Lanzmann regarding the Shoah, no other film director than Rithy Panh has managed to make visible, audible, and imaginable the uncanny world of the Khmer Rouge that brought Cambodia into hell. Seeing in Panh a modern Charon who transports human souls to the other side, Deirdre Boyle guides us through a disturbing journey where suffering and trauma, but also grieving and redemption, are pervasive."
— Vicente Sánchez-Biosca

Product Details
ISBN: 9781978814646
ISBN-10: 197881464X
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: March 17th, 2023
Pages: 270
Language: English