Sydney Schanberg is a New York Times journalist covering the civil war in Cambodia. Together with the local journalist Dith Pran, they cover some of the tragedy and madness of the war. When the American forces leave, Dith Pran sends his family with them, but stays behind himself to help Schanberg cover the event. As an American, Schanberg won't have any trouble leaving the country, but the situation is different for Pran; he's a local, and the Khmer Rouge are moving in. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
He was a reporter for the New York Times whose coverage of the Cambodian War would win him a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. But the friend who made it possible was half the world away with his life in great danger... This is the story of war and friendship, the anguish of a country and of one man's will to live. See more »
Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies. See more »
When listening to the news on the radio in the French consulate, a bottle of Champagne and a glass are standing on the piano. In the next cut, the bottle and the glass are gone. Another journalist then brings both items to the piano again. See more »
Cambodia. To many westerners it seemed a paradise. Another world, a secret world. But the war in neighboring Vietnam burst its borders, and the fighting soon spread to neutral Cambodia. In 1973 I went to cover this side-show struggle as a foreign correspondent of the New York Times. It was there, in the war-torn country side amidst the fighting between government troops and the Khmer Rouge guerrillas, that I met my guide and interpreter, Dith Pran, a man who was to change my life ...
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Brief Summary: This movie depicts the story of one Dith Pran engulfed in one of the most tragic genocidal regimes to ever grace this planet. Pran has been caught in the Year Zero program, an attempt from the Khmer Rouge to wash away all preknowledge of societies and start everyone over as simple farmers. 'Wash away' is being used in a light context though, people such as doctors, students, teachers, etc are being killed. Children are being honoured and respected as their minds have not had the time to be corrupt by the western traditions. This explains the fact that many of the Khmer Rouge are in fact teenagers. We experience through our eyes the many horrid nightmares Dith experiences at the hands of these young tyrants.
Review: A pretty typical story of an individual being caught in a 'wipeout' program much akin to the many holocaust films out there. What makes this film stand out is that it shows the viewers a different regime in history with very much the same effects on its population as the holocaust. The acting is superb by all degrees, in fact, the main actor Dith Pran (real name Haing S Ngor) has actually been through the horrors of Pol Pot's regime. In conclusion, a nice movie to watch just to see the power of a regime other than the Nazi's as well as a man who has to go through all of it.
8/10 - Won't be forgotten (in a good way!)
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