Directed by Roland Joffe and brilliantly scripted by Bruce Robinson, 'The Killing Fields ' is based on the true story of the relationship between Sydney Schanberg (Sam Waterston), a Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times correspondent, and Dith Pran (Haing S. Ngor), the Cambodian aide who remains behind following the evacuation of Cambodian citizens by the US army.
Perhaps one of the best anti-war films
- The Killing Fields review by RP
I saw this at the cinema way back in 1985, and watching it again reinforced the lasting impression that it made on me then and has stayed with me for over 25 years. Beautifully photographed, it is perhaps one of the best anti-war films ever made.
Set in the time of the takeover of Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge under the brutal tyrant Pol Pot, it tells the story of Dith Pran, the guide for a party of journalists who is captured when the capital Phnom Penh falls. It pulls few punches as it shows the brutality with which all are treated - but a special fate awaits Dith Pran as he is sent to a re-education camp in the fields - the 'killing fields' of the title. 5/5 stars.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
Historically interesting, brutal but slow.
- The Killing Fields review by JD
I did not know the history of the American invasion of Cambodia nor the exact politics of the Khmer Rouge. This film shows all too graphically the systematic genocide as a result of American incompetence and then in its wake a fanatical regime of terror. There is a lot wrong with this film though. The American and Cambodian accents are hard to understand. Fortunately there are subtitles. The plot although historically fascinating is slow and any drama is solely because of the bleak terrifying brutality of the situation not because of any plot twist or development. The relationships between the characters is critical to the plot but is not convincingly pulled together.The 2 hours 20 minutes pass slowly.
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
A Shocking Image of Reality
- The Killing Fields review by CV
This film emphasises the importance of international reporting particularly when its content is adverse to the reputation of the reporter's own country. I remember the reporting of the Vietnam War on television as it happened but was confused about the involvement of Cambodia. The Americans helped themselves to chasing the Khmer Rouge into Cambodia which involved clumsy indiscriminate bombing of innocent civilians. The second half of the film reveals just what the Killing Fields were.
The filming, often on the run, like reporting footage gives, a strong immanence and brutal reality to the subject. Like other reviewers' experience it leaves a lasting impression and strong cathartic response. The music by Gary Oldfield is often haunting and disturbing and accompanying the helicopter sequences especially creates a strangely alien-like apparition. The choice of John Lennon's Imagine towards the end is quite gauche and frustrating however!