The Killing Fields (film)

1984 film by Roland Joffé
(Redirected from The Killing Fields)

The Killing Fields is a 1984 film about the Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia, during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody "Year Zero" ethnic cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million "undesirable" civilians.

Directed by Roland Joffé. Written by Bruce Robinson, based on the book The Death and Life of Dith Pran by Sydney Schanberg.
Every so often, there is a film that is destined to be talked about and remembered for years to come.

Dith Pran

Choung Ek Killing Field: The bones of young children who were killed by Khmer Rouge soldiers.
  • [in his journal while imprisoned] The wind whispers of fear and hate. The war has killed love. And those that confess to the Angkar are punished, and no one dare ask where they go. Here, only the silent survive.
  • We must be like the ox, and have no thought, except for the Party. And have no love, but for the Angkar. People starve, but we must not grow food. We must honor the comrade children, whose minds are not corrupted by the past.

Sydney Schanberg

  • They brought in the whole fucking press corps. They want to sanitize the story. Bastards!

Al Rockoff

  • I can't eat eggs, someone told me they shrink with fright when you cook them.
  • Anything I eat's gotta be absolutely dead. That is why I can never eat an oyster. I read somewhere that they put that lemon juice on them just to stun them. What's the difference?


A commemorative stupa filled with the skulls of the victims.
  • What pisses me off is that this country has a lot of faults and a lot of strengths and we have done nothing but play to the faults. I'll tell you Sid I will be damned glad to get out of here. This thing has dragged on too long for it to end in all sweetness and light and after what the Khmer Rouge have been through I don't think they're going to be exactly affectionate toward westerners.
  • [reading] Dear sir, My family and I are planning a touring vacation of southeast Asia and anticipate, uh 2 weeks in Cambodia touring the country. Would you please send tour information and brochures? Thanking you in advance, Wendal Payne. Wendal lives in Wisacky, South Carolina.
  • I know Sid but what can we do? It could be a bloodbath here. Look, excuse the pun but we're either staying or we're living.


  • Not Sydney Schanberg: Well, it's just too goddamn late, Alan, this country's split apart. We put this ship to sea and it breaks my heart not to help it back to a port, any port.


Mass grave in Choeung Ek.
[listening to BBC reporter Hugh Elder's broadcast on the radio]
Jon Swain: Where do they get this crap?
Al Rockoff: That guy across the gate there. The little guy. Could we all not look at once, please? I have it on reliable sources that that's none other than Hugh Elder.
Jon Swain: You're kidding . . .
Al Rockoff: He's disguised, but I got a little suspicious about it, you know what I mean?
Dith Pran: How does he get his copy out?
Al Rockoff: How does he get his copy out? Specially trained hens. Yeah, the BBC has commissioned them to walk past the Khmer Rouge like they're regular fowl, and then they've been crossing the border into Thailand every day and every night.

Major Reeves: [to reporters visiting bombed city] Get in the chopper now. [to Sydney] No, Schanberg, you came on a boat you go back on a boat.
Sydney: That won't stop my story! [to Consul] What the hell is this, Donald?
Consul: Now listen Sydney, if you weren't down here, I wouldn't be down here, and I don't want to be down here. What good is it doing?
Sydney: Because if anybody ever gets to read about this you won't be able to look 'em in the face.

Morgan: [referring to Dith Pran leaving the French Embassy] Now does Sid know how fucking serious this is?
Jon Swain: Of course he bloody well knows
Morgan: Because we can't just let him fucking walk out of here.

[Dith Pran is forced to leave the French Embassy]
Morgan: For chrissakes, Sydney, why didn't you get him out then you had the chance? You had no right to keep him here! Funny sense of priorities.
Dith Pran: I'm a reporter too, Morgan! I know his heart. I love him like my brother, and I'd do anything for him! Anything!

Al Rockoff: It bothers me that you let Pran stay in Cambodia because you wanted to win that fucking award and you knew you needed him.
Sydney Schanberg: I had no idea that-
Al Rockoff: The fuck you didn't! The fuck you didn't!

[at their reunion, with warm smiles]
Sydney Schanberg: You forgive me?
Dith Pran: Nothing to forgive Sydney. Nothing.


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