30 March 2008

may God bless you, Dith Pran

Dith Pran died today.

For those who don't recognize his name, I strongly urge you to watch the 1984 release, The Killing Fields. It's not only a great movie, but it tells his story--the story of a truly heroic man, portrayed by Dr. Haing Ngor, who himself was forced to flee his native Cambodia after it was taken over by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rogue in 1975.

In the movie, Sam Waterston plays Sydney Schanberg, an American journalist who works with Pran. When the Khmer Rouge enter the capital, Phnom Penh, Pran stays, even though there's the option to flee to America with his family. It turns out that the Westerners are forced out, and Pran is taken to a labor camp. He eventually escapes, and when Schanberg meets him in Thailand (burdened with guilt), Pran says that there is "nothing to forgive."

It's a wonderful movie about an amazing man.

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