The approximately hour-long feature film tells the life of Tran Thi Hoan, a girl who was born without both her legs and her left hand as a result of attacks with the dangerous chemical warfare agent used by US troops in Vietnam for a decade during the war.
It also looks at the plight of others affected by Agent Orange and a former journalist’s fight in a French court against US chemical companies.
Sakata traveled to Vietnam in 2004 to learn about the aftermath of what is believed to be the largest, longest, and most catastrophic chemical warfare in human history after the death of her husband, who was also a victim of exposure to the toxin while fighting for the US turned army.
The Japanese director, the VNA news agency recalled, premiered the film Agent Orange: A Personal Requiem (Agent Orange: A Personal Requiem) in 2007 and four years later Living the Silent Spring (Living the Silent Spring), both winners of several festival films in the world and in Japan.
According to journalistic sources, about 4.8 million Vietnamese have been exposed to this chemical substance, while another three million, their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren are still affected, even though the war ended almost half a century ago.
What the U.S. Department of Defense christened “Operation Ranch Hand” began on August 10, 1961 and lasted for a decade, during which about 80 million liters of toxic chemicals, 61 percent Agent Orange, were sprayed on more than three million hectares of land in southern Vietnam.
According to estimates by the Vietnamese Association of Agent Orange/Dioxin Victims and the National Red Cross, of the three million Vietnamese affected by this deadly substance, at least 150,000 children have been born with birth defects and one million people are suffering from serious consequences.