When you first heard Nessun Dorma ? Nope, not the world cup / championships / olympics / whatever, watching The Killing Fields, that’s where. Nice touch where Sydney just turns up the volume to bring it from incidental background to explicit foreground.
Rewatched on DVD over the weekend. Don’t know whether it was a director’s extended cut, but the balance was quite different to my earlier recollection. The killing-fields sequences are actually quite brief – enough to shock – but most of the film is the interpersonal responsibility and cameraderie of the groups of multi-national journalists helping each other out, and later Pran taking care of the young son of one of the Khmer’s factional leaders as he escapes.
In fact the words trust and (nothing to) forgive stuck in the later episodes, even the US engagement in Cambodia is treated as a pragmatic tactic of war. The naive doctrine of the Khmer – anyone old enough to remember pre-revolutionary life is part of the problem – is clear and briefly dealt with. The cheesiest moment has to be the irony of being helped by the young guy who remembers being given the iconic Mercedes star. John Malkovic (great character BTW) returns to voice Sydney’s responsibilty.
And, I didn’t even recall the somewhat cheesey use of Lennon’s Imagine in the closing scenes. Maturing with age, the viewer that is.