The Agent Orange catastrophe did not end with the Vietnam War, as Tran To Nga and Carol Van Strum still fight to prove.
In a landmark case in France, Tran sues the chemical companies that manufactured the highly toxic herbicide, used by the United States military in the Vietnam War. More than 40 million litres (10.5 million gallons) of the poisonous defoliant were sprayed over parts of Vietnam and Laos in the mid-1960s, to give Viet Cong fighters less cover.
Up to four million people in Vietnam were exposed to Agent Orange with catastrophic consequences for many of them and their children: cancers, tumours, birth defects, heart problems, brain damage and other serious health conditions.
While the US army was forced to stop using Agent Orange in Vietnam in 1971, a variation of the compound was still allowed to be used in remote forests in the US years later. So began Carol’s work with the Citizens Against Toxic Sprays, or CATS, a campaign that ultimately attracted threats, intimidation, phone taps and much worse.
This compelling film follows the parallel stories of these two strong campaigners, both now in their 70s, each taking on their part of this David and Goliath scale battle: Tran for justice for her Vietnamese family and Carol to stop the continued use of the toxic compounds in agricultural products today.