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 World premiere Documentary form


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


DirectorRithy Panh
ScreenplayRithy Panh, Agnès Sénémaud, Christophe Bataille
CinematographyPrum Mesa
EditingRithy Panh
MusicMarc Marder
Sound DesignEric Tisserand
Assistant DirectorSocheat Cheng
ProducerCatherine Dussart
Co-ProducersRithy Panh, Emmanuel Migeot, Clémence Coppey
Co-ProductionAnupheap 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 Institut des Hautes Études Cinématographiques (now La Fémis). His 2003 documentary S-21, la machine de mort Khmère rouge addressed the Khmer Rouge’s policy of systematic 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 L’image manquante was the first Cambodian production to be nominated for an Oscar.

Filmography (documentaries)

1988 Le passé imparfait 1989 Site 2 – Aux bords des frontières 1990 Cinéma, de notre temps 1994 Les gens de la rizière 1995 La famille Tan 1996 Bophana, une tragédie cambodgienne 1997 Un soir après la guerre · 10 films contre 110 000 000 de mines 1998 Van Chan, une danseuse cambodgienne 1999 La terre des âmes errantes 2000 Que la barque se brise, que la jonque s’entrouvre 2002 S21, la machine de mort Khmére rouge 2003 Les gens d’angkor 2005 Les artistes du théâtre brûlé 2007 Le papier ne peut pas envelopper la braise 2008 Un barrage contre le pacifique 2011 Duch, le maître des forges de l’enfer · Gibier d’élevage 2013 L’image manquante 2015 La France est notre patrie 2016 Exil 2018 Les tombeaux sans noms 2020 Irradiés (Irradiated)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020