A book and documentary portraying the ill effects of the Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin suffered by millions of Vietnamese over multiple generations were presented to the public in Wallonia – Brussels Centre, Paris on April 13.
“Lien in Me Linh or War and its crimes” by Belgian writer-director Jean Marc Turine recounted 1961 to 1972 when the US army dumped over 80 million litres of defoliant, mostly the highly toxic Agent Orange/dioxin, over a quarter of the area in southern Vietnam, marking the largest-ever chemical warfare in history that has since devastated generations of Vietnamese, the environment and ecological system alike.
The main character is Lien, 18, an AO victim living in the outlying district of Me Linh. Her father was exposed to AO/dioxin while fighting in the central – Central Highlands battlefields, then transmitted the toxin to her.
Confined to a wheelchair at home, Lien faces physical and spiritual agony from fits of convulsions. Her dream of going to school will never come true.
Jean-Marc Turine said through the film, he wants to criticise the irresponsibility of the US government and chemical producers Monsanto and Dow Chemical which denied compensation for Vietnamese sufferers.
Through the voices of victims and witnesses, he aims to awaken European citizens to the painful after-effects of AO and spread a message of compassion and support for victims with practical actions.
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 AO victims.