Meticulously, a man’s hands assemble a model house in which he places a saved treasure as in a shrine: a family photo. Thus begins a journey into pain. The screen is split into a triptych, giving rhythm to the pictures. Each tragedy is unique, but in the repetition of the images there is that dull noise from which there is no escape. Irradiés is made by people who have survived physical and psychological irradiation as a result of war, and is recommended to those who believe they are immune to it: “What it means to be a survivor cannot be put into words. To live on, to make contact with this irradiation, for which there may be no cause, no knowledge, but from which there is no protection. Evil radiates. It hurts – even later generations. But beyond this pain lies innocence.” (Panh) Irradiés is not an opus made for the art gallery, but an extreme, necessary film that penetrates the eye and heart with unyielding force. Rithy Panh maintains the role of witness; like Marceline Loridan, who also survived, he is living with irradiation and yet maintains a clear view of life.
by Rithy Panh
with Bion, André Wilms, Rebecca Marder
France / Cambodia 2020 French 88’ Colour & Black/White Documentary form


  • Bion (Buto Artist)
  • André Wilms (Lui)
  • Rebecca Marder (Elle)


Director Rithy Panh
Screenplay Rithy Panh, Agnès Sénémaud, Christophe Bataille
Cinematography Prum Mesa
Editing Rithy Panh
Music Marc Marder
Sound Design Eric Tisserand
Assistant Director Socheat Cheng
Producer Catherine Dussart
Co-Producers Rithy Panh, Emmanuel Migeot, Clémence Coppey
Co-Production Anupheap Production Phnom Penh
France 3 Paris

Produced by


Rithy Panh

Born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1964. He fled the Khmer Rouge dictatorship and came to Paris in 1980 where he studied at the IDHEC, now La Fémis. His documentary S21:The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine addressed the Khmer Rouge’s systematic policy of extermination between 1975 and 1979. He is co-founder of the Centre Bophana which is dedicated to archiving Cambodian film heritage. In 2013, his film The Missing Picture was the first Cambodian production to be nominated for an Oscar. His film Irradiated screened in the 2020 Berlinale Competition and won the award for Best Documentary.

Filmography (documentaries)

1989 Site 2 – Aux bords des frontières 1990 Cinéma, de notre temps, Souleymane Cissé 1994 Les gens de la rizière (Rice People) 1995 La famille Tan (Tan Family) 1996 Bophana, une tragédie cambodgienne (Bophana a Cambodian Tragedy) 1997 Un soir après la guerre (One Evening After the War) · 10 films contre 110 000 000 de mines (10 Films Against 110 000 000 Mines) 1998 Van Chan, une danseuse cambodgienne (Van Chan a Cambodian Dancer) 1999 La terre des âmes errantes (The Land of Wandering Souls) 2000 Que la barque se brise, que la jonque s’entrouvre (Let the Boat Break its Back, Let the Junk Break Open) 2002 S21, la machine de mort Khmére rouge (S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine) 2003 Les gens d’angkor (The People of Angkor) 2005 Les artistes du théâtre brûlé (The Artists of the Burnt Theater) 2007 Le papier ne peut pas envelopper la braise (Paper Cannot Wrap Embers) 2008 Un barrage contre le pacifique (Sea Wall) 2011 Duch, le maître des forges de l’enfer (Duch, the Master of the Forges of Hell) · Gibier d’élevage (Shiiku) 2013 L’image manquante (The Missing Picture) 2015 La France est notre patrie (France Is Our Mother Country) 2016 Exil (Exile) 2018 Les tombeaux sans noms (Graves Without a Name) 2020 Irradiés (Irradiated) 2021 Everything Will Be Ok

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022