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The Killing Fields

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by imported_YEAHMANWORD, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. imported_YEAHMANWORD

    imported_YEAHMANWORD Member

    Joined: Jul 9, 2001 Messages: 985 Likes Received: 0
    I rented The Killing Fields from Blockbuster the other day and just got around to watching it this afternoon. The movie came out in 1984 and I can't believe I've never heard of it until last week.

    When it finished I was in shock as to how great of a movie this is.

    As soon as you get a chance go buy it.


    It takes place in 1970's Cambodia & chronicles the story of an American journalist and a Cambodian journalist who acts as his guide.

    Go get it & check out the special features when you're done.



    An attempt by Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot to form a Communist peasant farming society resulted in the deaths of 25 percent of the country's population from starvation, overwork and executions.

    Pol Pot was born in 1925 (as Saloth Sar) into a farming family in central Cambodia, which was then part of French Indochina. In 1949, at age 20, he traveled to Paris on a scholarship to study radio electronics but became absorbed in Marxism and neglected his studies. He lost his scholarship and returned to Cambodia in 1953 and joined the underground Communist movement. The following year, Cambodia achieved full independence from France and was then ruled by a royal monarchy.

    By 1962, Pol Pot had become leader of the Cambodian Communist Party and was forced to flee into the jungle to escape the wrath of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, leader of Cambodia. In the jungle, Pol Pot formed an armed resistance movement that became known as the Khmer Rouge (Red Cambodians) and waged a guerrilla war against Sihanouk's government.

    In 1970, Prince Sihanouk was ousted, not by Pol Pot, but due to a U.S.-backed right-wing military coup. An embittered Sihanouk retaliated by joining with Pol Pot, his former enemy, in opposing Cambodia's new military government. That same year, the U.S. invaded Cambodia to expel the North Vietnamese from their border encampments, but instead drove them deeper into Cambodia where they allied themselves with the Khmer Rouge.

    From 1969 until 1973, the U.S. intermittently bombed North Vietnamese sanctuaries in eastern Cambodia, killing up to 150,000 Cambodian peasants. As a result, peasants fled the countryside by the hundreds of thousands and settled in Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh.

    All of these events resulted in economic and military destabilization in Cambodia and a surge of popular support for Pol Pot.

    By 1975, the U.S. had withdrawn its troops from Vietnam. Cambodia's government, plagued by corruption and incompetence, also lost its American military support. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army, consisting of teenage peasant guerrillas, marched into Phnom Penh and on April 17 effectively seized control of Cambodia.

    Once in power, Pol Pot began a radical experiment to create an agrarian utopia inspired in part by Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution which he had witnessed first-hand during a visit to Communist China.

    Mao's "Great Leap Forward" economic program included forced evacuations of Chinese cities and the purging of "class enemies." Pol Pot would now attempt his own "Super Great Leap Forward" in Cambodia, which he renamed the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea.

    He began by declaring, "This is Year Zero," and that society was about to be "purified." Capitalism, Western culture, city life, religion, and all foreign influences were to be extinguished in favor of an extreme form of peasant Communism.

    All foreigners were thus expelled, embassies closed, and any foreign economic or medical assistance was refused. The use of foreign languages was banned. Newspapers and television stations were shut down, radios and bicycles confiscated, and mail and telephone usage curtailed. Money was forbidden. All businesses were shuttered, religion banned, education halted, health care eliminated, and parental authority revoked. Thus Cambodia was sealed off from the outside world.

    All of Cambodia's cities were then forcibly evacuated. At Phnom Penh, two million inhabitants were evacuated on foot into the countryside at gunpoint. As many as 20,000 died along the way.

    Millions of Cambodians accustomed to city life were now forced into slave labor in Pol Pot's "killing fields" where they soon began dying from overwork, malnutrition and disease, on a diet of one tin of rice (180 grams) per person every two days.

    Workdays in the fields began around 4 a.m. and lasted until 10 p.m., with only two rest periods allowed during the 18 hour day, all under the armed supervision of young Khmer Rouge soldiers eager to kill anyone for the slightest infraction. Starving people were forbidden to eat the fruits and rice they were harvesting. After the rice crop was harvested, Khmer Rouge trucks would arrive and confiscate the entire crop.

    Ten to fifteen families lived together with a chairman at the head of each group. All work decisions were made by the armed supervisors with no participation from the workers who were told, "Whether you live or die is not of great significance." Every tenth day was a day of rest. There were also three days off during the Khmer New Year festival.

    Throughout Cambodia, deadly purges were conducted to eliminate remnants of the "old society" - the educated, the wealthy, Buddhist monks, police, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and former government officials. Ex-soldiers were killed along with their wives and children. Anyone suspected of disloyalty to Pol Pot, including eventually many Khmer Rouge leaders, was shot or bludgeoned with an ax. "What is rotten must be removed," a Khmer Rouge slogan proclaimed.

    In the villages, unsupervised gatherings of more than two persons were forbidden. Young people were taken from their parents and placed in communals. They were later married in collective ceremonies involving hundreds of often-unwilling couples.

    Up to 20,000 persons were tortured into giving false confessions at Tuol Sleng, a school in Phnom Penh which had been converted into a jail. Elsewhere, suspects were often shot on the spot before any questioning.

    Ethnic groups were attacked including the three largest minorities; the Vietnamese, Chinese, and Cham Muslims, along with twenty other smaller groups. Fifty percent of the estimated 425,000 Chinese living in Cambodia in 1975 perished. Khmer Rouge also forced Muslims to eat pork and shot those who refused.

    On December 25, 1978, Vietnam launched a full-scale invasion of Cambodia seeking to end Khmer Rouge border attacks. On January 7, 1979, Phnom Penh fell and Pol Pot was deposed. The Vietnamese then installed a puppet government consisting of Khmer Rouge defectors.

    Pol Pot retreated into Thailand with the remnants of his Khmer Rouge army and began a guerrilla war against a succession of Cambodian governments lasting over the next 17 years. After a series of internal power struggles in the 1990s, he finally lost control of the Khmer Rouge. In April 1998, 73-year-old Pol Pot died of an apparent heart attack following his arrest, before he could be brought to trial by an international tribunal for the events of 1975-79.
  2. Rolln

    Rolln Member

    Joined: Mar 15, 2001 Messages: 995 Likes Received: 2
    I've been to Cambodia and seen the killing fields. Its heavy man, I went to this highschool that the khmer rouge turned into a prison / torture center that is now a museum, It was fucking ill.

    Cambodia is a really scary and weird place. Going out after dark in the city is dangerous as hell. Anyone that was alive during the khmer rouge is fucked up, and the kids that came after that are sketchy too.

    There is a book called GIRLS, GUNS & GANJA. Its good, and about alot of really sketchy people/criminals from all over the world going there to hide out, live cheap and do anything they want cuase practically everything is legal. I've had some of the most insane days of my life there.
  3. imported_YEAHMANWORD

    imported_YEAHMANWORD Member

    Joined: Jul 9, 2001 Messages: 985 Likes Received: 0
    Thats sick man. I'll definitely look that book up though.

    On another note, there's a movie similiar to what you're talking about called City of Ghosts. It was also very fucking excellent. It was also set in Cambodia and it is also extremely awesome. Soundtrack is great too.


    Editorial Reviews
    Despite its brief theatrical release and dismal box-office returns, City of Ghosts marked an impressive directorial debut for Matt Dillon. While transplanting a film noir plot to exotic locations that John Huston might've found inviting, Dillon plays to his strengths as an actor, casting himself as a con artist with a guilty conscience, traveling to Cambodia to locate his unscrupulous mentor and partner (James Caan) and extricate himself from a career of bilking innocent victims. The dangerous territory includes a two-faced schemer (Stellan SkarsgÄrd), a burly French hotelier (Gerard Depardieu), and an alluring architectural restorer (Natascha McElhone) tossed in for obligatory love interest, and Dillon (with cowriter and Wild at Heart author Barry Gifford) creates an engrossing sense of escalating danger as his character sinks into a quagmire of personal and political corruption. Humid atmosphere and colorful scenery add depth and texture to the film's familiar pulp-fictional trappings, suggesting a promising new direction for Dillon's offbeat career. --Jeff Shannon
  4. deterrent

    deterrent Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 20, 2004 Messages: 5,181 Likes Received: 43
    Excellent movie, Excellent book, Excellent part of history.

    The MoFoing Khmer Rouge were mad murding Kings!!!

    PolPot baby! Cambodia is hot!
  5. Rolln

    Rolln Member

    Joined: Mar 15, 2001 Messages: 995 Likes Received: 2
    I saw city of ghosts, that was damn good too.

    On a side note, You know the guy in the Killing fields the cambodian man the movie is centered around was murdered in LA shortly after that movie came out by some vientamese youngters, I heard some sketchyness surronding the story..
  6. imported_YEAHMANWORD

    imported_YEAHMANWORD Member

    Joined: Jul 9, 2001 Messages: 985 Likes Received: 0
    Yeah bro I read that in the special features part of the DVD. It said that his killing wasn't politically motivated & that the Asian gang just wanted the locket around his neck.

    It was a locket that had the only picture of his murdered wife and he vowed he would never part with it.

    The movie came out in 1984 and he was killed in 1998 in a parking garage.
  7. deterrent

    deterrent Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 20, 2004 Messages: 5,181 Likes Received: 43
    Strange, the real Pol Pot died in 98 as well.
  8. !@#$%

    [email protected]#$% Moderator Crew

    Joined: Oct 1, 2002 Messages: 18,517 Likes Received: 623
    great movie.

    city of ghosts was pretty good too.

    ...i'll also be seeing 'hotel rwanda' when it comes out [dvd].
  9. deterrent

    deterrent Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 20, 2004 Messages: 5,181 Likes Received: 43
    It's already out on dvd. I rented 2 weeks ago, it's pretty good.
  10. imported_YEAHMANWORD

    imported_YEAHMANWORD Member

    Joined: Jul 9, 2001 Messages: 985 Likes Received: 0

    yeah that's up for this weekend. i've gotta wait til saturday b/c the woman really wants to see it. i might just buy it.

    i've got this thing at blockbuster for either 20 or 25 dollars and you get unlimited movies all month. you take out two at a time and when you want new ones you just switch them for another two. pretty worth it.
  11. CACashRefund

    CACashRefund 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Oct 8, 2004 Messages: 14,171 Likes Received: 272
    I read that to get people out of the cities, the khmer rouge told the inhabitants that the U.S. was going to start dropping bombs overhead.

    Oh yeah i used to go out with a cambodian girl, she told me she was born in the Khao I Dang Refugee Camp on the border of Thailand and Cambodia.

    /My contribution.
  12. WhiteOx

    WhiteOx Elite Member

    Joined: Sep 4, 2003 Messages: 3,691 Likes Received: 0
    word, i had a mate in school whose cambodian dad had had his whole family (kids and wife) merked by the Kmer Rouge before he came to Australia

    i'll end up seeing both movies in this thread, cheers YEAHMAN