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The Killing Fields (1984)

Written By Awir Aditya on Thursday, May 20, 2010 | 10:52 PM

Genre: History/Drama/War

Starring: Sam Waterson, John Malkovich, Haing S. Ngor, Julian Sands


The Vietnam War spilled over its boarders and reached the neighbouring countries of Cambodia and Laos. New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg (Waterson) is sent to Cambodia to cover the war. A Cambodian journalist Dith Pran (Ngor) is appointed as his interpreter and assistant. The communist rebels known as the Khymer Rouge are invading the city. Sydney, Dith, Rockoff (Malkovich) and a British journalist Jon Swain (Sands) take refuge in the French embassy. The Khymer Rouge threaten to bomb the embassy if all Cambodian nationals are not surrendered to them. Dith, who was posing as a British national is compromised and sent out of the embassy. Sydney returns to America and looks after Dith's family but is unable to locate Dith himself. Dith, meanwhile, is being held in a Khymer Rouge labour camp where he is been made to do rough and barbaric labour. As per history, the Khymer Rouge killed almost 2 million educated Cambodians, deeming them as 'unwanted civilians' and went about propagating 'Year Zero' and brain-washed young children to make them future communist leaders. The movie explores a good piece of history and would appeal to those who like to watch historically accurate movies. On the flip side, the movie is slow and drags on and tries to encompass too many things making it a little too lengthy. Perhaps if the plot focuses only on one aspect of the war, it would have been far more interesting and not as heavy. Fantastic performances by Ngor and Waterson and a cult classic.

Thumbs up: Amazing performances
Thumbs down: Slow and lengthy

Rating: 7.4/10
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