The Killing Fields

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Though it gradually turns into a somewhat sentimental buddy movie, with NY journo Sydney Schanberg (Waterston) longing for news of Dith Pran (Ngor), the Cambodian aide he left behind to suffer the horrors of the Khmer Rouge after the fall of Pnomh Penh in 1975, this is still very much a superior look at one country's troubles in the wake of American involvement in South East Asia. The first hour, sprawling, chaotic and violently messy, is very good indeed, conveying both the complexity and the essential absurdity of war, while the photography by Chris Menges is stunningly convincing in detailing the scale of the carnage. The use of Lennon's 'Imagine' at the end is a severe error of judgment, but the film's overall thrust - angry, intelligent, compassionate - makes this producer Puttnam's finest movie to date.

By: GA

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Cast and crew

Director: Roland Joffé
Screenwriter: Bruce Robinson
Cast: Sam Waterston
Haing S Ngor
John Malkovich
Julian Sands
Craig T Nelson
Spalding Gray
Bill Paterson
Athol Fugard
Patrick Malahide
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