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'The Killing Fields' to Screen as Background
for Forum Presentation

RELEASED: March 27, 2006

The Killing Fields posterEAU CLAIRE — "The Killing Fields" (1984), a chilling and precise account of Cambodia's agony at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, will screen March 29-April 2 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The film will be presented at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre. A special screening at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Davies Theatre will precede the Forum address by Loung Ung, a survivor of the Cambodian genocide. Ung's presentation, "First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.

Roland Joffe's Oscar-nominated film is a faithful adaptation of a story by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Sydney H. Schanberg, relating an intensely personal tale of friendship, separation, survival and reunion set during the genocide in Cambodia (1975-79). Oscar-nominee Sam Waterston stars as the abrasive and dedicated New York Times reporter. His loyal and resourceful Cambodian colleague Dith Pran is played by Dr. Haing S. Ngor, who received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor despite never having acted before.

"To say that Dr. Ngor acted, that he merely played a role, is woefully inadequate," wrote The New York Times.

The story unfolds against the backdrop of the fall of Cambodia — from the first bombing, to Dith Pran's rescue of his friend, to Schanberg's failed attempt to smuggle Dith out of the country, and finally to Dith's struggle to survive the genocide that claimed over three million of his countrymen.

"The film is a masterful achievement on all the technical levels," film critic Roger Ebert wrote in his four-star review, "but the best moments are the human ones, the conversations, the exchanges of trust, the waiting around, the sudden fear, the quick bursts of violence, the desperation. ... The American experience in Southeast Asia has given us a great film epic ("Apocalypse Now") and a great drama ("The Deer Hunter"). Here is the story told a little closer to the ground, of people who were not very important and not very powerful, who got caught up in events that were indifferent to them, but never stopped trying to do their best and their most courageous."

The 141-minute film is rated R.

Admission is $2 for International Film Society members and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, in Davies Center's east lobby and at the door. The film is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.

-30-

JS/NW

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