Documentary film about Vietnamese AO/Dioxin victims screened in France
A documentary film named “Lien’s story in Me Linh” or “War and war crime” was screened in Walonnie-Bruxelles centre in Paris on April 13thand introduced the book with the same name by Belgian author – director Jean-Marc Turine in order to highlight the negative affects of Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin on the lives of millions of victims in Vietnam, when the war ended many decades ago.
In the film and book, the audience meets Lien, 18, an AO/Dioxin victim living in the Hano suburb of Me Linh. Her father is a soldier; he was exposed to AO/Dioxin during the years of fighting in the Central-Central Highlands battlefield, and the poison is hereditary to her.
Lien’s life is a chain of days suffering from physical and mental miseries due to persistant convulsive fits, mainly moving between bed and wheelchair. For her, going to school is an abstract dream she has never realized.
Like Lien, many victims in many different regions in Vietnam are daily suffering the persecution. The children do not fully understand their disease plight while their parents’ tears don’t stop.
However, many AO/Dioxin victims have overcome their grim fate by their own efforts or with the help of their relatives.
Besides, many sponsored centers have been built thanks to the state budget, contribution of the whole society and support of Veterans Association of Vietnam and non-governmental organizations in many countries. The centers create a social support system for victims suffering AO/Dioxin pain.
The film also provides documentary information such as from 1961 to 1972 the US military sprayed more than 80 million liters of herbicide and defoliant, mostly AO/Dioxin, into an area of about one fourth of the total natural area of the South Vietnam.
This was chemical warfare on the largest scale ever in the history of warfare. It not only destroys people but also destroys many generations of people and destroys the environment and ecosystems as well.
Author – Director Jean-Marc Turine said that he had spent six months making the film. At first, as a journalist, he wrote reportages and broadcasted on a Belgian radio station where he worked.
However, he found that audience in Europe need images to be further aware of damaging effects of AO/Dioxin on the victims, painful scenes for their families. Therefore, he decided to make the documentary film with two versions of 74 and 95 minutes to screen for different audience.
The author - director also said that he met, had very long conversations with AO/Dioxin victims and witnessed with his own eyes lives of morbid, disabled people and life tragedies, he couldn’t hold back his feeling, but he was helpless because he couldn’t do anything to help them change their fate.
He also condemned the irresponsible actions of the US government and companies producing toxic chemicals such as Monsanto, Dow Chemical, which have refused to compensate Vietnamese AO/Dioxin victims and said that that there is no relationship between herbicides and diseases that AO/Dioxin victims suffer.
According to him, there is injustice. Therefore, through the voice of victims - witnesses, he wants to awaken the conscience of the people in European countries about "Agent Orange/Dioxin pain," bleeding wounds.
The film also spreading the message of love for people keeping to rise in the life as well as practical work to help AO/Dioxin victims in daily life.
The film becomes more meaningful when it is screened just days before the hearing of the AO/Dioxin case in the city of Evry, a suburb of Paris on April 16th. The case is petitioned by Ms. Tran To Nga, an overseas Vietnamese in France to demand justice for the Vietnamese AO/Dioxin victims./.
( Compiled by VNF )