At first, with its relatively simple animation, the French-made Funan (2018) may seem to be a children’s film. But it isn’t. It is a pronouncedly dark adult picture about life in Cambodia beginning in 1975, the action revolving around a middle-class family of four.
The communist Angkar—or the Khmer Rouge—has taken over the country, and Mom and Dad must persistently think hard about how to survive. And how to find their little son who, along with his grandmother, is taken away by the commies.
Funan spares us very little from this time period. Angkar is disgustingly cruel, wholly vile. Cambodians are overworked in the fields and begin to die from hunger; an exploited woman kills herself. There is no sensationalism, though, just as there are no strong characterizations except, maybe, for that of Sok. The film, at any rate—directed and co-written by Denis Do—is venerable.
Reportedly more than a third of millennials support communism. If they want what is shown in this movie, they can have it.
(In French with English subtitles. Available on Netflix.)