Chau, a teenager living in a Vietnamese care center for kids disabled by Agent Orange, struggles with the reality of his dream to one day become a professional artist.
Eight years ago, I traveled to Vietnam with a fellow a filmmaker to make a documentary on the plight of the street kids in Ho Chi Minh City. However, not too long into our trip, we were introduced to a small Peace Camp for kids disabled by Agent Orange, tucked away in the back of a maternity hospital. When I entered, something struck deep inside me and we decided to volunteer there for a week, becoming close with the kids almost instantly. We asked them if we could film their lives, and thus, began a two month journey that would span out into my eight year endeavor.
When I started the film 7 years ago, what really stuck out to me is that kids are kids, no matter what label the outside world gives them. The children in the camp were poster children for Agent Orange, a chemical they didn't really know or think about. They cared about candy, soccer, toys, and their own dreams. It was those children's perspectives transcended the gravity of the Vietnam War for me.
And as I finished this film, what I saw and began to believe was the truth of the unconquerable human spirit. I followed Chau because of his relentless pursuit for his dream to be an artist. He taught me to hope in a world where, most often than not, there is a lack of such. If we could all look at the larger picture, focus on what we have rather than what we don't have, perhaps our seemingly impossible dreams woud be actually within our reach.
Directed by Courtney Marsh
Produced by Jerry Franck + Courtney Marsh
Executive Producer: Marcelo Mitnik
Associate Producers: Duy Nguyen
Story by Courtney Marsh + Marcelo Mitnik
Cinematography by Courtney Marsh
Edited by Courtney Marsh
Original Score by Steve London
Translations/Addt'l Camera/Addt'l Editing by Duy Nguyen
Colorist: Peter Swartz
Sound Design: Brian Dunlop
Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Gabriel J Serrano