The Killing Fields - Screaming Land

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German title The Killing Fields - Screaming Land
Original title The Killing Fields
Country of production Great Britain
original language English
Publishing year 1984
length 139 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Roland Joffé
script Bruce Robinson
production David Puttnam
music Mike Oldfield
camera Chris Menges
cut Jim Clark

The Killing Fields (Original title: The Killing Fields ) is a three-time Academy Award-winning British feature film from 1984 and is based on the true story of a Cambodian friendship with an American journalist during the Khmer Rouge reign of terror in Cambodia over the years 1975 to 1979.


The American reporter Sydney Schanberg reports for the New York Times on the fighting of the US troops during the Cambodian Revolution. A friendship develops from his collaboration with the Cambodian journalist Dith Pran . Shortly before the conquest of Phnom Penh , Pran sent his family abroad with the retreating Americans, but stayed behind with Schanberg himself to report on the capture by the Khmer Rouge . When the capital falls, the remaining journalists have to seek refuge from the Rote Khmern in the still open French embassy. Schanberg can then leave with the other American and European journalists, while Pran has to stay behind. For him a terrible time begins in the hands of the Khmer Rouge; there are "cleanups" taking place; the sacrifices are brought to the killing fields by the thousands ; Under the rule of the leader Pol Pot , around 20 to 30% of the population are killed in the genocide in Cambodia . Dith Pran is taken to a camp, from which he can ultimately escape with four other inmates. He struggled through the jungle for days and climbed a hill in the Dongrek Mountains , from where he discovered a Red Cross camp near Thailand . Schanberg is informed that Pran survived. In the final scene the friends meet again and hug each other.


"A realistic, detailed first film of extraordinary urgency and humane disposition, which condenses into a highly remarkable examination of a continuing chapter of recent history."

"[...] debut film directing [...], which captured the horrors of the Pol Pot regime in a drastic way on the screen."

“Without make-up, his drama shows the horrors of tyranny. The masterpiece has received multiple awards, [...]. "


Academy Awards 1985

  • Best Supporting Actor ( Haing S. Ngor )
  • Best Cinematography (Chris Menges)
  • Best Editing (Jim Clark)

Further nominations:

  • Best movie
  • Best Actor (Sam Waterston)
  • Best Director (Roland Joffe)
  • Best script based on a template ( Bruce Robinson )

Golden Globe Awards 1984

Further nominations:

BAFTA Awards 1985

  • Best movie
  • Best Actor (Haing S. Ngor)
  • Best Young Actor (Haing S. Ngor)
  • Best adapted script
  • Best camera
  • Best cut
  • Best production design
  • Best tone

Further nominations:

  • Best Actor (Sam Waterston)
  • Best director
  • Best film score
  • Best mask
  • Best visual effects

The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating particularly valuable.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for The Killing Fields - Schreiendes Land . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , November 2009 (PDF; test number: 55 252 V).
  2. The Killing Fields. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed September 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. Killing Fields - Screaming Land. In: prisma-Verlag , accessed on September 2, 2017 .
  4. ( page no longer available , search in web archives: )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /