September 23, 1942 - March 30, 2008
The film "The Killing Fields"(1984) marked the birth of my social conscience. I was all of 13 but so profoundly affected by the horrific events depicted that it led to my involvement with Amnesty International and, later, a youth delegate in the model United Nations in the Ottawa region. This was the first time I had heard of the Khmer Rouge or understood that film could do more than merely entertain. The movie tells the compelling story of Dith Pran, a journalist and interpreter who somehow endured becoming one of Pol Pot's forced labourers and who, through his bravery, wit, and convictions escapes the notorious killing fields where thousands of his countrymen were executed. How unbelievably sad to learn that we lost this true hero earlier today to pancreatic cancer.