Sydney Schanberg 1934 – 2016
My husband, Syd Schanberg, passed away in the aftermath of a heart attack in the early morning hours of July 9, 2016. Although he has gone his work lives on. I will be adding some of his favorite pieces from various years to this site. A number of distinguished obituaries provide an overview of his career and some special tributes have been published as well. Those are linked below. — Jane Schanberg
6 Syd Schanberg Stories You’ve Never Read Before, by David W. Dunlap, The New York Times
The Death and Life of Sydney Schanberg, by Charles Kaiser, Vanity Fair Magazine
Sydney Schanberg Never Forgot His Roots in Clinton, Mass., by Thomas Farragher, The Boston Globe
Cambodia War Crimes Tribunal Testimony
Sydney Schanberg testified before the Cambodia War Crimes Tribunal via videolink from the United Nations in New York City. His testimony before The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in the trials of Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan took place from June 5 to 7, 2013. Each evening, a UN staff attorney ushered Syd to a conference room where the video link was established to coincide with the court’s three-hour morning sessions in Phnom Penh. UN attorney Andrew Cheatham (photo, left) acted as the witness counsel for the Schanberg testimony. The proceedings occasionally became contentious when defense attorneys attempted to portray Khmer Rouge intentions as beneficial to the people of Cambodia. In 1975, Sydney Schanberg was interned in the French Embassy after the fall of Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge drove 2 million people out of Phnom Penh into the countryside as part of the Communist’s agrarian revolution and began a 4-year genocide.
“The Death and Life of Dith Pran” — the story on which The Killing Fields film was based — is now available electronically from Rosetta Books on Amazon.com. With a prologue written in June 2013, the new digital edition updates the entire story though the following years until Pran’s untimely death from pancreatic cancer in 2008. An eyewitness account of the fall of Cambodia in 1975, and the story of Pran’s survival during the murderous Khmer Rouge regime, “The Death and Life” was originally published in the New York Times Magazine in 1980, and republished as a hard cover book in association with the movie four years later.
The Killing Fields 30th Anniversary
We are pleased that a special Blu-Ray edition of The Killing Fields was released by Warner Home Video to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film’s debut. This Blu-Ray edition offers super high resolution and interactive access to extra features. Additionally, there is commentary by director Roland Joffé, a theatrical trailer and 36-page Blu-ray book which includes rare photos and production notes. The Killing Fields won 3 Oscars in 1984, and received 7 nominations including Best Actor in a Leading Role for Sam Waterston and Best Director for Roland Joffé.