He was born in Phnom Penh in 1964. When he was 11, Red Khmers occupied Phnom Penh. From 1975 to 1979, he lived in Red Khmer’s camp, from which he ran away to Taiwan and later to France. There he enrolled in the film school IDHEC. In 1989, he returned to Cambodia where he made the acclaimed and prize-winning documentary Site 2
. He made his first feature film Neak sre
(Rice People) in 1994. Afterwards he made Bophana, une tragédie cambodgienne
(1996), Un soir aprés la guere
(One Evening After the War, 1998), La terre des ameserrantes
(The Land of the Wandering Souls, 2000), Que la barque se brise, que la Jonque s'entrouvre
(2001), S-21, la machine de mort Khmére rouge
(S21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine, 2003).