Gariwo: the gardens of the Righteous

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The killing fields

tale of Dith Pran, Righteous in Cambodia genocide



"First time feature director Roland Joffe shoots the drama with an unforced realism lent a terrible grace by the handsome images and smooth, unobtrusive long takes of cinematographer Chris Menges, who keeps the camera panning and tracking the characters through almost every scene. It's a remarkably effective stylistic choice, keeping the camera centered on Dith and Schanberg and the other journalists while embracing the vivid reality of their surroundings, be it the bloody aftermath of a guerilla bombing in a busy city street or the nervous tension and desperation of western journalists holed up in a nearly-gutted, overcrowded embassy as young, undisciplined rebel soldiers surround the gated grounds. Within the formal style and beautifully composed frame, the eruption of chaos and violence feels even more threatening, especially in the film's third act as we follow Dith through the terrible reeducation camps of Pol Pot's bloody "Year Zero" ethnic cleansing campaign". Review taken from Rotten Tomatoes

16 April 2014