Vietnam: film about the effects of Agent Orange
In 2012, a German-Vietnamese film team led by director Matthias Leupold made a documentary film about the repercussions of Agent Orange in Vietnam. In Lighter Than Orange (72 min.), North-Vietnamese veterans talk about their experiences in the war as well as about what happened to their families, bringing home the severe and ongoing consequences of the chemical warfare waged in their country. Their stories represent those of countless people who continue to suffer from the deployment of dioxin-containing herbicides in the Vietnam War: much of the soil in southern Vietnam is still contaminated, leading to new cases of illness. At the same time, the vast majority of those affected have not received any assistance from the responsible companies and governments, and the whole issue is on the verge of disappearing from public awareness and of being forgotten. Except for Stiftung Umverteilen! and the Hamburg foundation Asienbrücke, all foundations and public broadcasters approached by the film’s initiators turned down requests for funding. Lighter Than Orange was largely made possible by donations, producer/director Matthias Leupold’s own money as well as film professionals volunteering their time and effort. The Asia working group contributed over € 11,000 to the project between 2011 and 2015, making the Foundation the film’s most important partner. Lighter Than Orange has been shown at institutions and film festivals around the world and won a number of prizes. Deutsche Welle broadcast a shortened version (42 minutes) of the documentary in multiple languages, making the film available in every country of the world. Some of the income generated by the film combined with other funds was used to pay for professional training or to provide for other financial needs of several of the protagonists or their family members.