Jump to content

'killing Fields' Journalist Dies


Recommended Posts

Moderators, please accept this thread to run in 'General topics'. I think this man deserves our utmost respect.

'Killing Fields' journalist dies

post-13995-1206915692_thumb.jpg Dith Pran had been diagnosed with cancer almost three months ago

A Cambodian-born US journalist whose enslavement and escape from the Khmer Rouge became the subject of the famous film, The Killing Fields, has died.

Dith Pran died at a hospital in New Jersey from pancreatic cancer at the age of 65, according to his former New York Times colleague, Sydney Schanberg.

They were in Cambodia in 1975 to report the fall of Phnom Penh to Khmer forces.

Mr Dith was not allowed to leave, and had to endure four years of torture and starvation before escaping to Thailand.

In 1980, Mr Schanberg described his colleague's ordeal in a magazine article, and later a book, called "The Death and Life of Dith Pran". It became the basis for the Oscar-winning Hollywood film, The Killing Fields.

"Pran was a true reporter, a fighter for the truth and for his people," Mr Schanberg told the Associated Press.

post-13995-1206915874_thumb.jpg A Cambodian woman touches a shelf containing thousands of skulls at the memorial located at the Choeung Ek killing fields (archive)

More than a million people died under the Khmer Rouge

Cambodia's brutal regime

"When cancer struck, he fought for his life again. And he did it with the same Buddhist calm and courage and positive spirit that made my brother so special."

Mr Dith himself coined the term "killing fields" to describe the horrifying scene he witnessed on his journey to freedom in Thailand.

The Khmer Rouge was the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, during which it was responsible for one of the worst mass killings of the 20th Century. The regime claimed the lives of more than a million people - some estimates say up to 2.5 million perished.

Under the Marxist leader Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge tried to take Cambodia back to the Middle Ages, forcing millions of people from the cities to work on communal farms in the countryside.

But this dramatic attempt at social engineering had a terrible cost, and whole families died from execution, starvation, disease and overwork.


RIP: Dith Pran :o


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very brave man, I love his words near the end:' We Cambodians believe our bodies are like houses which we only rent, and if it's riddled with termites it's time to leave'.

Everyone should see 'The Killing Fields'

Edited by bannork
Link to post
Share on other sites

The killing fields,has to be one of the few movies where i genuinely got choked up in.Its hard not to when the song Imagine by John Lennon starts playing at the end.The fact that he escaped without using violence,made the man even more impressive for me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

read the RD story and saw the movie on HBO once; even bought a DVD months ago, but put off watching because it seems a bit depressing but this should be a good occasion to re-watch it. thanks for the info.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...