German film about Agent Orange in Vietnam nominated for Emmy

By Vuong Anh   August 11, 2016 | 01:14 am PT
German film about Agent Orange in Vietnam nominated for Emmy
Director Philipp Abresch and the character depicted in the reportage - 15-year-old Long Thanh - Photo by
It tells the story of one family's brave effort to cope with the fallout from Agent Orange.

A reportage on Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange by German director Philipp Abresch has been nominated for an Emmy Award in the Television and International News category, announced the organizers on August 9.

“Long Thanh will lachen”, a 28 minute report which was aired on Germany's ARD channel a year ago, received the nomination just a day before Agent Orange Day (August 10).

Abresch’s work tells the story of the victims of Agent Orange/dioxin used by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam-American War. Even 40 years after the war, generations continue to suffer the consequences of the deadly herbicide, as in the case of a 15-year-old boy named Long Thanh who features in the reportage.

The story depicts the lives of Long Thanh and his brother, both of whom suffered birth defects caused by their father's exposure to Agent Orange. They are both heavily reliant on their parents, but Long Thanh still lives an energetic life with an admirable attitude as he tries to overcome his fate.

During the making of the reportage, the film crew visited Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City to meet Agent Orange victims.

Despite the war ending more than 40 years ago, there are still three million people in Vietnam suffering from the consequences of Agent Orange, with 150,000 children suffering severe birth defects.

With the American military using the toxin to clear vast areas of forests of Vietnam, horrific consequences were left in the ground, in the water and in humans.

The film also shows how Vietnam has been crying out for support to ease the suffering of the victims, but the U.S. administration has so far rejected or denied responsibility, saying that "there is no direct connection" between Agent Orange and the deformed babies.

“Long Thanh will lachen” was nominated alongside seven other films in its category.

The winner will be announced in New York on September 21.

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