W: Bruce Robinson [based on the article "The
Death & Life Of Dith Pran" by Sydney Schanberg]
DP: Chris Menges
Ed: Jim Clark
Mus: Mike Oldfield
PD: Roy Walker
Sam Waterston (Sydney Schanberg), Haing S.
Ngor (Dith Pran), John Malkovich (Al Rockoff), Julian Sands (Jon Swain), Craig T. Nelson (Military Attache), Spalding Gray (US Consul)
Not all films released during the 1980's were cheesy action
flicks or teen comedies. In fact, the decade saw plenty of harrowing and dramatic war dramas with a political edge. The Killing Fields is a testament to that.
It isn't an entertaining film by any means, instead, a truly
powerful piece of cinematic viewing.
Set in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's barbaric Year One
regime, when all the "undesirable" Cambodian citizens were executed by the Khmer Rouge, war reporter Sidney Schanberg (Sam Waterston) and his interpreter Dith Pran (Haing S. Ngor) are separated
during conflict and Pran is left behind enemy lines and struggles for his survival.
Based on a true story, the film won 3 Oscars, including Best
Supporting Actor for Ngor, only the second non-professional to win the award (he was actually a doctor in his native Cambodia).
The film was also honoured as the best of 1984 at the British
Academy Awards (Baftas).