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The Killing Fields (Widescreen) [Import]
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The Killing Fields (Widescreen)
This harrowing but rewarding 1984 drama concerns the real-life relationship between New York Times reporter Sidney Schanberg and his Cambodian assistant Dith Pran (Haing S. Ngor), the latter left at the mercy of the Khmer Rouge after Schanberg--who chose to stay after American evacuation but was booted out--failed to get him safe passage. Filmmaker Roland Joffé, previously a documentarist, made his feature debut with this account of Dith's rocky survival in the ensuing madness of the Khmer Rouge's genocidal campaign. The script spends some time with Schanberg's feelings of guilt after the fact, but most of the movie is a shattering re-creation of hell on Earth. The late Haing S. Ngor--a real-life doctor who had never acted before and who lived through the events depicted by Joffé--is outstanding, and he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Oscars also went to cinematographer Chris Menges and editor Jim Clark. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Khmer Rouge's policy, consistent with that of Maoism and other communist groups, is that non-farmers are traitors. The Khmer Rouge are not discriminate, they kill anyone who they perceive as a threat to their power. And anyone they feel is not an uneducated farmer is a threat. Hence, the Khmer Rouge pursues relentlessly for evidence of pre-revolutionary life. Anyone found out to have been a doctor, teacher, soldier, government official, religious leader, anyone speaking more than one language, or anyone else suspected of being somewhat intelligent, are singled out and murdered. Pran survives by convincing his captors that he was a taxi driver before his imprisonment.
After seeing fellow prisoners picked off one by one for a variety of so-called crimes, Pran plans his escape. After seeing a man be hauled off for execution for the crime of having uncalloused hands, Pran escapes through the rice paddies and heads for the Thai border. Along the way, he's recaptured by a supporter of the Khmer Rouge, who has his own farm. This farmer's own ideas and alliances illustrate the real life factioning and infighting that existed within these Maoist's own ranks.Read more ›
I continue to be amazed by the one scene where Dith Pran is saying goodbye to Sidney Schanberg, as he (Pran) is being forced into Khmer Rouge custody. Meanwhile Schanberg reluctantly gets to return to a life of freedom and luxury. Their farewells are so poignant and the music is PERFECT, with the rain pouring down on them - DAMN this scene is haunting.
Equally intense is the scene showing the heartpounding, panicked evacuation of the American embassy in Cambodia, as well as the cathartic finale of the movie: the way a zealous Schanberg sprints across the New York Times newsroom after receiving word from the Red Cross, leading to the film's fantastic final scene. It gets me teary-eyed every time.
Aside from the emotional fervor this movie inspired in me, I believe it was also very accurate from what I've read and researched. Even down to the cranky, impatient mannerisms of the real-life Schanberg, which were portrayed by an outstanding Sam Waterston. (Outstanding performances were given by all in fact, especially John Malcovich and Dr. Haing Ngor - who has an astounding past of his own with the Khmer Rouge.)
While overwhelmingly bleak, The Killing Fields was ultimately inspirational. Watch this movie to be educated, and moved!
Most recent customer reviews
I was very disappointed to find that the dvd will not play. The dvd is not formatted for north American use. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Allan Steeer
Saw this for the first time since it was first in the theatres...has aged real well, a great film.Published 12 months ago by Keith Hill
I read the book "In the Shadow of the Banyan" prior to watching this movie. Friends of mine had recommended the book and reinformed all of us, the atrocities that happened... Read morePublished 14 months ago by JoAnn V
I bought for my girlfriend. I received the wrong one for the region (my fault). Will return for refund.Published 15 months ago by Kathleen Hillier
Bought this to watch with my son who works with a guy who lived through it. He was riveted to the TV. I saw it many years ago but forgot how powerful this movie was.Published 21 months ago by Elizabeth Wood