After having been assigned to watch the movies, “Schindler’s List” and “The Killing Fields,” I regard it more of a life lesson rather than a school assignment. Schindler’s List chronicles the story of a German industrialist who managed to rescue over 1,000 Jewish people, upheld by a sudden change of heart due to eye opening realities about the liquidation of Jewish communities. Although there were inaccuracies rooted within the film, I believe that the film encapsulated the truth of the story quite authentically.
Similarly, The Killing Fields is a strong indictment of modern war overall and the American conduct of the war in Cambodia in particular, but its great strength descends from secondary themes of the power of friendship and the importance of a will to survive. I remember the first genocidal movie I’ve ever watched in my life was “The Killing Fields,” and I’d initially seen it when I was younger.Order now
I was seven years old, and although it seems like it was ages ago with distorted memories, I recollect feeling emotionally stunted for the next couple of weeks that followed. I vaguely call to mind the fact that the Khmer Rouge actually captured and retained possession of not only the specific ethnic populations of Cambodia, but also anyone who had the misfortune of living in the US-backed government zone, as depicted in the film as well as discussed in the article titled, Why is the Twentieth Century the Century of Genocide, that I had read.
Given the film’s exploration of genocide and the underlying themes of political corruption and violence, my parents never really sheltered me (which was not a bad thing, in my perspective). I’d learned a lot about things that children at that age shouldn’t have even heard about, but I guess my parents’ approach to my upbringing was beneficial, because I’m able to absorb things and expect things, and I guess my vision was clarified at a young age because I knew the world wasn’t the golden place that society tries to paint in the minds of children.
But enough of my childhood – I watched The Killing Fields a second time recently, and it was different than the way I remembered it. As a young girl, my focus honed in on the violence and the bloodshed, because that’s what stood out to me and that’s what surprised me – that, horrific atrocities like ones that the Khmer Rouge brought upon Vietnam. Now, having grown intellectually, I have recognized the intrinsic themes of family, politics, race, culture, religion, and other questions of ethics.
It encompassed all perspectives and made me see the humanity. I think this is a rare piece of work in that it didn’t relinquish its hold on me right after it ended. It’s the type of movie that kind of just sticks with you because of its poignancy. Sometimes, it’s difficult to distinguish between the artistry of the movie and the realities of the story, but I feel it’s significant in both respects. It’s a terribly beautiful movie and it’s haunting and mesmerizing and deserves all the awards it won.