(A War No One Wins)
Written by JOHN TRINH to dedicate to all the victims of Agent Orange
“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” - Mahatma Gandhi
“Agent Orange: 30 Years Later” is a drama-documentary about the victims of Agent Orange 30 years after the Viet Nam War.
Agent Orange is the code name for the major herbicide that was used by the U.S. military during the Viet Nam war. The film tells the story of several victims of Agent Orange - from the North to the South of Viet Nam - who were exposed to the substance when it was sprayed during the war. It interweaves compelling interviews with images culled from the archives to tell the tales of horror of people, from babies to grandparents, male and female, North and South Viet Nam living with life-altering choices to make: pro-life or abortion, alien diseases, deformities, fear, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, pain, and poverty. It is more of a drama than a reportage, or an observation.
The goal of this documentary is to make the viewers aware of the impact of dioxin on the environment and the people. The film also underscores the need for compassion and heightens a sense of responsibility for our actions towards each other as stewards of the planet without regard for political differences.
- "Best Documentary" of New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (7/2009)
- "Award of Excellence" for feature documentary from The Accolade Competition (9/2009)
- "Grabay Meas Award" (Golden Buffalo Award) of Cambofest--International Film Festival (12/2009)
- "Silver Ace Award" of Las Vegas International Film Festival (6/2010)
- "2010 A Film For Peace Award", Un Film Per La Pace Film Festival, Medea, Italy (9/2010)
- "First Prize" for feature documentary of Un Film Per La Pace Film Festival, Medea, Italy (9/2010)
- "EcoFilmFest 2010 Winner", EcoFilmFest, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (10/2010)
- "Official Selection" of more than 20 international film festivals in America, and worldwide
Screenings and film festivals:
- New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (12/2008)
- Cultural Innovation private screening at Disney in Glendale, CA (3/2009)
- Video Festival Imperia, Italy (04/2009)
- Griffon International Film Festival in St. Joseph, Missouri (4/2009)
- Reel Earth-Environmental Film Festival in Palmerston North, New Zealand (5/2009)
- Philadelphia Independent Film Festival in Philadelphia, PA (6/2009)
- Action On Film International Film Festival in Pasadena, CA (7/2009)
- Kansas International Film Festival in Overland Park, Kansas (9/2009)
- Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Arkansas (10/2009)
- International Independent Film Festival CamboFest, Kampot, Cambodia (12/2009)
- Film Festival of Just Peace, Bangalore, India (5/2010, 5/2012)
- Film Festival on Food Sovereignty & Food Security, Bangalore, India (5/2010)
- Cannes Independent Film Festival, Cannes, France (5/2010)
- EcoZine International Film Festival, Zaragoza, Spain (5/2010)
- A Film For Peace Film Festival, Udine, Italy (6/2010)
- Columbia Gorge International Film Festival, Washington (8/2010)
- Bogocine, Bogota, Colombia (10/2010)
- EcoFilmFest, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (10/2010)
- Istanbul International 1001 Documentary Film Festival, Turkey (10/2010)
- Cinema Verite--4th Iran International Documentary Film Festival, Tehran, Iran (11/2010).
- Cape Winelands Film Festival, South Africa, (3/2011)
- Ha Noi Cinematheque, Ha Noi, Viet Nam (8/2011)
- Al Jazeera Documentary Film Festival, 7th Edition Doha, Qatar (4/2011)
- Asian Pacific American Cultural Center (University of Iowa, Iowa, 3/2012)- Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia (11/2012)
- "The film was artistically photographed and edited,….” by Jan Turetsky, L.A. Mentary: The Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa (1/2009)
- "Despite the horror, the film is at times intensely moving and beautiful, showing also the better side of human nature—qualities like kindness, compassion, and forgiveness." by Reel Earth - Environmental Film Festival (4/2009)
- "The film was stark, powerful and very effective. Courageous to go to those most deeply affected, look into their eyes, and explore the depths of their pain. We were deeply moved." by Alice and Lincoln Day, Producers of "Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives" (6/2009)
- "Agent Orange: 30 Years Later wrenches and outrages, as it must." by Alan Scherstuhl, The Pitch, Kansas City, MO (9/2009)
- "Agent Orange: 30 Years Later is a film difficult to watch but it is an effective plea against war..." (Agent Orange : 30 Ans Après est un film difficile à regarder mais un plaidoyer efficace contre la guerre...) by Audrey Guého, Orange Fleur D'Espoir, Paris, France (4/2010)
- "Agent Orange: 30 Years Later is crudely made but the sobering subject matter, and Trinh's sensitivity for the victims on all sides of the conflict make it worth catching." by Dan Lybarger, Metro Kansas City News & Entertainment, www.kcactive.com
- "Agent Orange: 30 Years Later — a very painful, an eye opening documentary, shows how toxics still affect people decades later." by Sowmya Reddy, Film Festival on Food Sovereignty and Food Security, Bangalore, India (5/2010)
- "This piece of work, which shows the disastrous consequences for defenseless civilians and bruised children from the deadly chemical substance, takes the value of an eternal warning to future generations on the excruciating effects of the war", by A Film For Peace Film Festival, Medea, Italy (9/2010)
- "This openhearted yet unflinching film collects the unvarnished, unembellished testimonies of Vietnamese who’ve suffered great physical and psychological pain in the decades since their—or their spouses’ exposure to the herbicide. Avoiding sensationalism and cheap theatrics, the filmmaker asks us to see and accept the realities of chemical warfare.", by ActiveVoice.net, "Make Agent Orange History".
- "The film Agent Orange: 30 Years Later, a medium documentary directed by John Trinh about the victims of Agent Orange after the Vietnamese war and the impact of dioxin on the environment, will be a special attraction at the festival." by Shanthosh Chandran, Qatar Tribune, Doha, Qatar.
- "And finally, a terrifying film, Agent Orange: 30 years later, about the genetic defects and disease caused by the indiscriminate and criminal use by the US military of the poisonous defoliant during the Vietnam War. John Trinh's 56-minute film documents the monstrous deformities and consequences for which no one will accept responsibility." by David Forbes, Times Live, Johannesburg.
- "Agent Orange: 30 Years Later touched the lives and hearts of many Malaysian audience as they watched the impacts of a toxic chemical on the health of nature and human.", Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival.
John Trinh, a member of the international Documentary Association in Los Angeles (IDA), produced and directed his first documentary film entitled "Agent Orange: 30 Years later" ("A War No One Wins"). The film was an official selection of more than 20 film festivals around the world and has won numerous international awards such as "Best Documentary" at New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, "Gold Remi Award" of Worldfest in Houston, and "Absolute Winner" of A Film For Peace Film Festival in Italy. Starting in July/2009, Reel Earth toured the film to venues in the Metropolitan and Regional centers in New Zealand. On the 10th of August 2009--the national Orange Day program, Viet Nam Television VTV4 showed the film twice as "the most important film". On the 12th of August 2009, John Trinh was invited by the Ford Foundation to serve as a panelist to present the film and discuss the issues of Agent Orange: The Human Health and Environmental Echoes of War at the AAJA's 20th annual national convention in Boston, MA. At the 18th Annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival -- "one of the first and the oldest documentary film festivals in the world (second only to Amsterdam) and one of only seven national Academy Award qualifying venues", the film was shown twice as one of the "key films" of the festival on the 20th and 22nd of October/2009. In February 2010, the film was screened at the cultural centers in Montpellier, Creteil, and Paris, France. In August 2010, the Documentary New Zealand Trust has selected the film to be part of its library, featuring award-winning documentaries around the world. The film is also included in the film library of Open Society Archives (OSA), which contains all the documentaries of Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Budapest, Hungary. At the Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival in 2011, the film was a "special attraction out of 284 selected films" (Qatar Tribune, Qatar). Cedarburgh High School in Milwaukee has used the film as a video material for its Advanced Placement Environment Science (APES) course. John Trinh received his training from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He has worked for major companies such as Mattel as a Senior Designer and Disney as a digital artist. His personal work has been exhibited world-wide--International Contemporary Masters book (Vol.2-3) , and garnered numerous awards nationally, "National Artist of Distinction Award" of the National Alliance for Excellence in New York in 1997 as one example.
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