It was 70 years since the dropping of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima in Japan, and the victims and relatives commemorated and mourned. Prof. Matthias Leupold wanted to draw people’s attention to another atrocity in the East with his documentary movie “Lighter Than Orange”: The consequences of dioxin poisoning in Vietnam.
On Wednesday evening, students and professors filled the main lecture theater at BTK Hamburg to see the multiple award-winning documentary film. It was watched attentively for 72 minutes, and there was a tear or two on some faces, as the movie addressed an extremely difficult topic: In the mid-1950s, Vietnam became the stage of a bloody civil war, which in turn became a proxy war between two superpowers, the USA and Soviet Union. The USA pursued the goal of preventing the expansion of communism in Asia by supporting South Vietnam militarily and combating the communist North from 1964 onwards.
In order to clear the view for aerial bombardment and to weaken the enemy by destroying the harvest, the forces sprayed highly poisonous defoliants such as Agent Orange, Agent Blue, and Agent Purple on the forests and rice fields in northern Vietnam. This ruthless course of action caused illness to hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and American soldiers, who still suffer from the effects, and was met with fierce worldwide criticism.
After the film screening, a few questions were answered that cropped up during the film: Do the affected people receive compensation? How can I help? Is my vacation in Vietnam now endangered
Right at the end, the producer Matthias Leupold was met with thunderous applause. A film well worth watching!
Find all about the film at www.lighterthanorange.com