[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/killing_fields_1134.jpg]]

->''"The wind whispers of fear and hate. The war has killed love. And those that confess to [[StateSec Angkar]] are punished, and no one dare ask where they go. Here, only the silent survives."''
-->--'''Dith Pran'''

A 1984 British film by French director [[Film/TheMission Roland Joffé]], ''The Killing Fields'' is based on journalist Sydney Schanberg's account of UsefulNotes/{{Cambodia}}'s Khmer Rouge regime from his article, ''The Death And Life of Dith Pran.'' The role of Pran was portrayed by Dr. Haing S. Ngor, a non-actor who went on to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. It also stars Sam Waterston and Creator/JohnMalkovich.

While the Khmer Rouge wages war against the Cambodian government, American journalist Sydney Schanberg meets Cambodian journalist and interpret Dith Pran. They cover the war together and become friend, until the Khmer Rouge army finally takes power over the whole Cambodia and enter in Phnom Penh. They both take refuge in French embassy, along with the remaining Westerners from Phnom Penh and thousands of scared Cambodians, before the Khmer Rouge force all male Cambodians out and others are evacuated. In America, Schanberg wins the Pulitzer for his coverage while Pran endures the ultimate nightmare of the new government's [[ThePurge Killing Fields.]]

Will Schanberg find Pran? Will Pran succeed in reaching out of hell?

A moving, powerful portrait of one of the darkest eras of the 20th century.

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!!Provides Examples Of:

* BittersweetEnding: Even though Pran escapes the regime in the end, the film makes note of all the other refugees who still remain in Cambodia.
* DecoyProtagonist: Although Sydney is ostensibly the protagonist, the real hero of the film is Pran.
* EnemyCivilWar: The NVA versus the Khmer Rouge.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes/ EvenEvilHasStandards: Phat, the leader of the compound. He fears for the future of Cambodia under his Khmer Rouge masters, and trusts Pran with his son's safety.
* EvilerThanThou:[[spoiler: Phat's men start killing peasants at random shortly after the Vietnamese bombing raids. When he tries to tell them off, he is shot dead on the spot.]]
* FeelingOppressedByTheirExistence: The film depicts the Khmer Rouge's application of these principles to those of Vietnamese descent and "intellectuals," a category that included urban professionals and people who wore glasses.
* ForegoneConclusion: The answer to the third paragraph is yes.
* FromBadToWorse: The film begins with Cambodia being bombed by the American air force. It's horrible. [[TyrantTakesTheHelm Then the Khmer Rouge take over.]]
* GoryDiscretionShot: Several prisoners are summarily executed by the Khmer Rouge. The camera cuts away before a women is shot with an AK-47 at point-blank range.
* HannibalLecture: Rockoff gives Sydney one at an awards ceremony, accusing him of exploiting Pran to win his award. [[ShutUpHannibal Sydney chews him out in return.]]
* HeelFaceTurn: Phat.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Syndey and Pran.
* HolidayInCambodia: Subverted - You ''did not'' want to be in Cambodia during this time period.
* HollywoodHistory: Pran's time in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge was even worse than the way it was portrayed on film. The movie leaves out the times he was tortured, and presents a rosier picture of his eventual escape, since it shows him going straight to UsefulNotes/{{Thailand}} and UsefulNotes/TheRedCross when in fact before that he was found by the Vietnamese and made a village chief before escaping again before they found out about his American ties. And while the film does show his wife and children surviving and getting out [[note]] Though he later divorced his wife[[/note]], in RealLife Pran still lost 50 other members of his family, including his three brothers and his sister.
* IntrepidReporter: Sydney and Pran, of course.
* IWillFindYou: Sydney devotes all his free time to finding Pran after escaping to America.
* MadeASlave: Pran and countless other Cambodians are forced to labour in the fields for the regime.
* MeaningfulEcho: "Mercedes, number One !"
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Since the Khmer Rouge killed the educated, this was a ''very'' important part of Dith Pran's and Dr. Haing S. Ngor's survival.
* PapaWolf: Pran, whose children are all in America, tries his hardest to protect Phat's son [[spoiler:who ends up getting killed anyway.]]
* RealitySubtext: Dr. Haing S. Ngor himself survived the Killing Fields, which helped well in his Oscar-winning role.
* TheReveal: When Pran uncovers the titular Killing Fields.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized
* SceneryGorn: The titular Killing Fields. Once Pran escapes that he goes through the jungles of Cambodia which become-
* SceneryPorn: with Thailand filling in for Cambodia.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue
* YankTheDogsChain: Just when it seems Pran will be able to evacuate the embassy with the other journalists, his passport gets rejected.
** [[spoiler: And after all his efforts to save him, Phat's son is killed.]]
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