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Documentary film on Vietnam’s Agent Orange victims screened in France

Thursday, April 16, 2015, 09:03 GMT+7
Documentary film on Vietnam’s Agent Orange victims screened in France
A mother takes care of her two children affected by Agent Orange in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Tri in this file photo.

A documentary film on Vietnam’s Agent Orange victims has been screened in France, newswire Vietnamplus reported Tuesday.

“Lien in Me Linh or War and Its Crimes” by writer-director Jean Marc Turine was screened on Monday at the Walonnie-Bruxelles center in Paris, denouncing the U.S. use of toxic chemical Agent Orange and its serious effects on the lives of millions of Vietnamese people.

The film provided documentary information regarding the period from 1961 to 1972 when U.S. troops sprayed over 80 million liters of defoliant, mostly the highly toxic Agent Orange, over a quarter of the area in southern Vietnam.

It is a chemical warfare with the largest scale ever in history, destroying many generations of Vietnamese and the country’s environment and ecological system as well.

The main character is Lien, an 18-year-old victim of Agent Orange living in Hanoi’s outlying district of Me Linh. Her father was exposed to the toxic chemical while fighting in the Central Highlands battlefields.

Lien suffers physical and spiritual agony caused by convulsions. She has to stay either on her bed or in a wheelchair at home and never dreams of being able to go to school.

Jean-Marc Turine said he had spent about six months producing the film. He initially made reportage about Agent Orange victims to air on a Belgium radio where he worked as a reporter.

Turine later realized that European audiences need more visual evidence to have a clearer, better understanding of the serious effects on Vietnamese victims and their families exerted by the toxic chemical.

The reporter decided to make a documentary with a 74-minute and 95-minute version to introduce to different target audiences.

Turine told Vietnamplus that he wanted to criticize the irresponsibility of the U.S. government and the companies that produced the chemical, including Monsanto and Dow Chemical which have denied compensation for Vietnamese sufferers, saying there is no connection between their products and any medical symptoms.

The film was screened ahead of the April 16 court date in the French city of Evry, a case lodged by Vietnamese-French Tran To Nga to seek justice for Vietnamese Agent Orange victims.

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