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The Killing Fields

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  • The Killing Fields

    It's a film that does not get mentioned much these days but I always found it deeply moving and profoundly disturbing. I visited the site in Cambodia this morning which is now a Buddhist monument to the victims. It's a deeply affecting place, not only for its history, which is graphically told, but for the sheer volume of human remains that are still being uncovered on, literally, a daily basis. It's a stark warning about the evil resides just beneath the surface of all societies. The film, and the story of Cambodia, should be compulsive viewing in all schools.

  • #2
    It certainly made an impression on me.
    So you're there now?! Rather hot I would imagine.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by StoneAgeMan View Post
      It certainly made an impression on me.
      So you're there now?! Rather hot I would imagine.
      Yes, indeedy. Arrived from Vietnam yesterday and I'm travelling in Cambodia for the rest of this week and then back to Hanoi. Extremely hot and very wet in the late afternoon but a beautiful country with the friendliest people ever.

      i won't go through the details of the Killing Field, you'll know, Stoneage. what I am talking about, but my wife was in tears. From there we went on to the former prison and met with one of the two remaining survivors from the 17000 who were held, tortured and killed there, now a very old but very smiley man. Again a deeply moving experience.

      The Nazis always seemed a long way away from me, it was something that I watched in movies but it didn't directly touch me. The Cambodian genocide was perpetrated on my generation and I vividly remember it unfolding on television.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by John Hamilton View Post
        It's a film that does not get mentioned much these days but I always found it deeply moving and profoundly disturbing.
        I also find it disturbing, mainly because it makes the American journalist out to be a hero when he really acted like a totally selfish shit throughout

        Steve

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Steve Crook View Post
          I also find it disturbing, mainly because it makes the American journalist out to be a hero when he really acted like a totally selfish shit throughout

          Steve
          Er, okay but let's face it, it needed an American in the lead to open anywhere on the US and it's difficult to position any westerner as a hero on the traditional sense, though there were a handful of journalists (seven I believe) who fell victim to the Khmer Rouge. Curiously, this was another group of despotic psychopaths who kept impeccable records. Everyone who was sent to the Killing Fields was photographed and profiled. The survivor I mentioned earlier escaped death because he was the typist!

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          • #6
            In the course of my day job and have seen the fact in print, The Killing Fields is one of the selection of British films selected by the Home Office for refugees to know of in order to gain British citizenship in their official General Knowledge Test. The Home Office will only need to know of the films title as representative of British culture (remotely the name of the director maybe).

            Having said that, I wonder how Killing Fields made it into the list instead of, say, Italian Job or Half a Sixpence or Oliver (or whatever).

            Maybe that Roland Joffe is a good emblem OF British film-making alongside Carol Reed and David Lean (who are in the list) rather than Michael Winner or Peter Collinson (who are not). Or maybe The Killing Fields is a 'soft power' choice for those refugees from South Asia seeking sanctuary in this hemisphere(who see the film in order to get a perspective) in the knowledge that the West was the saviour of the events depicted .

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