Irradiés (Irradiated). 2020. Cambodia/France. Directed by Rithy Panh. DCP. In French; English subtitles. 88 min.
MoMA presents the North American premiere of Rithy Panh’s Irradiated, a danse macabre of historical footage and Butoh performance in which the Cambodian filmmaker reflects on the nature of evil through acts of human cruelty across the 20th century, “from trenches to atolls, from camps to silence.” Himself a survivor of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge, Panh lives with the relentless nightmare of having lost much of his family to genocide. The radiation of the film’s title alludes not only to the atomic bomb but to the use of poison gas in the trenches of World War I, the Nazi death camps, atrocities in Vietnam and Cambodia—and to the human stain that lies within us all: the compulsion to destroy and the urge to forget. Courtesy Strand Releasing