Resources for Teachers and Students on Dith Pran

Prepare: Cambodian Dith Pran is best known for the movie based on his story, The Killing Fields. Having survived the genocide of the Khmer Rouge, he has dedicated his life to prevention of future genocides. Please view his online biography.

Read: Dith Pran wrote an original essay for the Architects of Peace project. In it, he briefly describes the ordeal of forced labor camps.

Explore: Dith Pran founded a project to educate American students about the genocide that occurred in Cambodia from 1975 until 1979. The content areas of the project's website can be perused in a few short minutes, and it contains excellent links for those who wish to deepen their study of the Khmer Rouge atrocities.

Write: In his Architects of Peace essay, Dith Pran claims, "We made a mistake because we didn't believe Cambodians would kill Cambodians." How is it possible that genocide continues to occur in the modern world? At what point does regard for the sanctity of human life become so low that mass killing becomes possible? Using a combination of library and internet resources, compose a three-to-five page research paper investigating these questions.

Extend: The screenplay for The Killing Fields was adopted from a Sydney Shandberg report in the New York Times Magazine called "The Death and Life of Dith Pran." The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards, and won three Oscars. Copies of this film are still available in libraries and video rental stores, and a review can be found online.

Additional Resource: After the defeat of the Khmer Rouge, over ten million landmines were left behind in Cambodia, more than one for every citizen of the country. It is estimated that it will take more than a hundred years to finally clear the countryside of these mines. Those interested can view up-to-date reports on the progress of this project.

Biography of Dith Pran