Author: Nguyen Thi Nhu Trang

Research Article

Year: 2021, Volume 21 Number 4

Pages: 181 – 191


This study examines two documentaries on the impact of Agent Orange in post-war Vietnam: Where War Has Passed (1997), by the Vietnamese director Vu Le My and Agent Orange: A Personal Requiem (2007), by Japanese director Masako Sakata. In order to depict the destructiveness of Agent Orange, these directors focus exclusively neither on the footprints of war in Vietnam’s physical landscape nor the sufferings of Vietnamese victims. By highlighting the existence of Agent Orange victims in the landscape that was once the target of a series of American spraying missions, both documentaries urge the audience to remove the boundaries between humans and the natural environment. While Vu explored local people’s perceptions, Sakata provided a constructive representation grounded in historical and scientific references. In this way, Vu focused on exploring the “sense of place” by revealing how both local people and the landscape have suffered from the impacts of Agent Orange. By contrast, Sakata utilized a framework of the “sense of planet” by tracing the long historical process beyond the American spraying missions. 

Keywords: Agent Orange, Vietnam War, Human-Nature Boundaries, Destruction, Documentary