Dith Pran is the dude the movie The Killing Fields was based on, and I’m not talking about Pol Pot. He was played by Haing Ngor who won an Oscar for Best Supporting role, and the movie chronicles him getting out of Cambodia when Pol Pot went ape shit and started his killing spree. I remember as a kid, how freaked out I was seeing that film, and I remember the Oscar awards show, which was touching. Although I never met Dith Pran, we were in the same line of work. Yeah, he was a photographer and a journalist of slightly different nature, at the New York Times.
There’s still a generation of folks in America who have seen the worst horror, and they’re blended into our society. You don’t hear about them or from them…
How Pol Pot got away with his war crime, I have no idea. The freaky thing, although not more than death of millions by ethnic cleansing in Cambodia, is that Dith Pran’s friend, Sydney Schanberg was played by Sam Waterston, the prosecutor Jack McCoy on Law and Order! John Malkovich played a third friend in that movie. On a continuing side note, Amadeus won the Best Picture, Ghostbusters won nothing, and Karate Kid’s Pat Morita righteously got beat out by Ngor. Two Asian Americans up for an Oscar in 1984, that’s crazy.
Dith Pran died in New Jersey, and left behind a family, who I’m sure are proud of his accomplishments.
Read about it better on the ABC news site.