After decades of silence, growing numbers of Khmer Rouge survivors in Cambodia are challenging the stigma around sexual violence. They are speaking out about their experiences of forced marriage, rape and sexual abuse suffered under the regime. From courtrooms to classrooms, from Civil Society forums to family tables, survivors are revealing hidden dimensions to their suffering that continue to impact Cambodian society nearly 40 years after the Khmer Rouge collapsed.

    Breaking the Silence examines the prosecution of crimes of sexual violence before the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. It does so through courtroom testimony, archival footage, interviews with experts, practitioners and scholars. It highlights contemporary reparations projects related to addressing the harm suffered in the past. The film reports on the history of forced marriage and sexual violence under the Khmer Rouge regime and analyses the impact of these crimes and their prosecution on contemporary Cambodian society.

  • Trailer


  • About

    'Breaking the Silence' is sponsored by the British Embassy in Phnom Penh,

    under the British Government’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI).

    The film is produced by Khmer Mekong Films, with editorial partners WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University and East West Center.

  • Interviewees

    Kalyanee Mam

    Filmmaker & Researcher

    Silke Studzinsky

    Former International

    Civil Party Lawyer

    Nicholas Koumjian

    International Co-Prosecutor – ECCC

    David Cohen

    Director - WSD Handa Center

    for Human Rights and International Justice – Stanford University

    Angelina Jolie

    UN Special Envoy -

    Co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI)

    Marie Guiraud

    International Civil Party

    Lead Co-Lawyer

    Chhay Visoth

    Director of the

    Tuol Sleng Museum

    Sophiline Cheam Chapiro

    Artistic Director - Phka Sla

    Sarah Knibbs

    Deputy Representative -

    UN Women Cambodia

    Yim Sotheary


    Psychotherapist -

    Program Coordinator at Kdei Karuna

    Hoy Vathana

    Project Coordinator -

    TPO (Transcultural Psychosocial Organization)

    Theresa de Langis

    Professor of Global Affairs and Humanities

    Independent Researcher

    Ny Chandy

    Former assistant

    to the Civil Party Lawyers

    Sok Samith

    Survivor and Public Speaker

  • Testimonies

    Civil Parties

    'Breaking the Silence' offers a collection of testimonies of Civil Parties who testified at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, as well as survivors of the regime.


    The film also gives voice to the young generation of Cambodians, who analyse the impact of these crimes on contemporary Cambodian society. 


    Khmer Mekong Films
    #23, Street 136
    Daun Penh
    Phnom Penh - Cambodia