Roland Joffe’s political drama, The Killing Fields, was based on Sydney Schanberg’s 1980 New York Times Magazine article, “The Death and Life of Dith Pran.”
It recounts in a fictionalized, conventionally melodramatic, but also emotionally engaging mode the political situation in Cambodia during its civil war, centering on the relationship between the NY Times reporter (Sam Waterston) and his Cambodian translator and friend Dith Pran (Haing S. Ngor), particularly after the latter falls into the hands of the brutal Khmer Rouge.
The movie was nominated for seven awards and won three, including a citation for Chris Menges’s s exhilarating cinematography.
Oscar Nominations: 7
Picture, produced by David Puttnam
Director: Ronald Jaffe
Screenplay (Adapted): Bruce Robinson
Actor: Sam Waterston
Supporting Actor: Haing S. Ngor
Cinematography: Chris Menges
Film Editing: Jim Clark
Oscar Awards: 3