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The Killing Fields 1984
Description: The Killing Fields says the real-life storyline of a friendship between two journalists, an American and a Cambodian, during the bloody Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia in 1975, which led to the death of 2-3 million Cambodians during the next four years, until Pol Pot's regime was toppled by the intervening Vietnamese in 1979.
Released: 01 Feb 1985 Director: Roland Joffé Writers: Bruce Robinson (screenplay) Actors: Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands Genres: Biography, Drama, History, War
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The Killing Fields Reviews:

Based on the Khmer Rouge revolution in Cambodia, this is an perfect tale of hardship and friendship. Basically director Roland Joffe` did an unbelievable job in exposing the detailed facts so simply in the movie that you trust that you are in that time in person. The two actors, Sam Waterson and Haing Ngor both displayed godlike pieces of acting. It's unfortunate Waterson couldn't join Ngor in Academy Awards. In addition, the director's credit is to highlight both the characters' points of view. That's why the film became so interesting to watch. John Malkovich brought out a fine performance as a photographer. In the course of the storyline of journeys of the two men, the movie also has vivid descriptions of the public life during the war. Few detailed scenes of fight violence are presented here so indifferently that you are bound to be convinced about its historical accuracy. Here we search the magical cinematography of Chris Menges. Again, during the time of Dith Pran's suffering, it never seemed that the director is showing too much.One of the most important, and my favorite, aspects of the movie is its ending. You cannot imagine of a better alternative of this happiest ending possible in a fight drama. And with the wonderful test of Lennon's "imagine", it has got to an enormous height of perfection. 5/5.


Rating: **** Out of ****Hard to say, but I trust when it comes to the fight genre, The Killing Fields manages to edge out even Saving Personal Ryan, and without a doubt, there's no better fight movie out there that's done a better job of capturing the realistic features and emotional loss of the time period (that being, the 70's in Cambodia/Vietnam).Thus, I've everytime considered it a tiny odd that no one I know has even heard of this film. When lists of the best fight movies are decided, I don't trust I've ever seen this movie crack any list. And the reason is simple: The Killing Fields is often ignored because it doesn't come from a soldier's mission of view, and neither does it detail any adrenaline-pumping war sequences. The fact that a powerful portion of the movie (about 2/5's) comes entirely from a Cambodian man's viewpoint might throw off a several viewers here and there. And yet, the movie does just as fine a job as any anti-war movie in creating a frightenining, chaotic world.The performances all around magnificent without exception. Haing S. Ngor, who was tragically killed a several years ago, delivers a riveting, emotionally wrenching turn as the tutorial who is trapped in Cambodia and forced to war for his life. He deservingly won the Oscar, though it's a shame he was snubbed for the greatest actor award. Inarguably, he's the film's central hero and he also has more screen time than top-billed Sam Waterston. Despite my complaint on that matter, Waterston is also perfect as the journalist with a guilty conscience.The Killing Fields is a suspenseful and exhilarating experience, a adventure through an apocalyptic landscape that details one shocking photo after another. Watch, and you'll see why the movie is so acclaimed.


*Some spoilers*Complex & historically rich, THE KILLING FIELDS is closely based upon Fresh York Times journalist Sydney Schanberg's 'The Life And Death Of Dith Pran.' Schanberg was a stringer for the Times during the Vietnam War, and was stationed in Phnom Penh in the early 1970s as once-neutral Cambodia was overrun by outside interference (US and North Vietnam), and collapsed into an explosively violent civil war. Schanberg reported extensively on this war, assisted by Cambodian photojournalist Dith Pran, and this movie does an adequate job of introducing the complexities of it – the rightist government (which was nominally US-backed - not touched upon during the film) quickly became paralyzed by inaction, stunning lvls of corruption and ineptness. Simultaneously, the mysterious another side (deemed Les Khmer Rouges by the deposed Prince Noorodom Sihanouk) fought with near-incomprehensible ferocity, maintaining an impenetrable veil of secrecy about their ideology and future plans for Cambodia. With the Cambodian government(the Khmer Republic) later in a swift free-fall, the American embassy was closed on April 10, 1975 and Americans – along with some Cambodians – were airlifted out. After painful debate, Schanberg and Pran opted to remain, in an attempt at covering the now-imminent fall of Phnom Penh. Seven days later, the Khmer Rouge (K.R.) captured the town – the dying government shuddering to a surrender, and Schanberg and Pran went into hiding in the French embassy. The finest moments of the movie are the depictions of the chaos, desperation and crowding at the French compound – the intent and future behavior of the K.R. were not well-known at this mission (right up to, and for a considerable amount of time after their win they operated in absolute, cult-like secrecy), and the sense of oncoming apocalypse is perfectly expressed with a subtle, seemingly-throwaway line delivered at this mission by a French diplomat: "Adieu, ancien regime," as an official from the now-overthrown Khmer republican government was lead away at gunpoint, and the sound of massacres should be heard all over the city. Pran was stranded in the country as the K.R. instantly launched one of the most infamous revolutions in globe history, ordering towns emptied of their populations in an attempt at creating an isolationist agricultural utopia, and dismantling 'bourgeois' institutions. The ideology of the K.R. (critical to understanding the tragic depths of the story, and skimmed over in the film) was essentially a blend of the most extreme theories of Mao and Stalin, mixed with a strand of nationalism rivaling any variant of fascism in its ferocity. In this harshly reconstructed society, urbanites and the educated (like Pran) were automatically considered opponents of the people, likely to be killed as potential counterrevolutionaries. Forced into a gulag in the countryside, Pran camouflages his background, but is still subjected to the brutalities inflicted upon many of his comrades. Upon hearing that Vietnam has invaded Cambodia, Pran flees into the bush, gradually making his method to the Thai border. Word reaches Schanberg, who has been searching for Pran for nearly four years (Cambodia had been sealed off from the outside world), and the two are reunited in a refugee camp in Eastern Thailand. KILLING FIELDS is a gripping film, successful on many fronts. Filmed in Thailand, the performances seem very authentic, and the period setting is painstakingly recreated. The cinematography has an impressive John Ford grandeur. Thus my main issues with the movie amount to hairsplitting: the Mike (ugh) Oldfield score is abysmal, and at least one otherwise nice stage (the US embassy evacuation) is crashed by it. A tiny more digging into some of the political ideologies swirling around the current happenings would give the soon scenes (Pran in one of the KR collectives) required context. Another commentators here have already noted the inapproriateness of Lennon's 'Imagine' at the films' end, and the mercifully brief Schanberg-at-home scenes during the latter half of the movie are a bit much.Very intense - as doctor-survivor-actor Haing S. Ngor – who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Pran – stated in 'A Cambodian Odyssey,' - his own autobiography: "Had the movie portrayed the current severity of what had occurred, no one would've been able to sit through it." This is easy among the most harrowing tales of friendship and loyalty to have ever made it to the large screen; even with minor problems, a movie very much worth seeing.



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