Post by Courtney Marsh
Setting out to make Chau, beyond the lines, one very difficult decision I had to make was what story to focus on. There are so many issues at hand, from the politics of Agent Orange and why it was sprayed, to the hardship of those disabled by the chemical, to the choice parents are presented with when their baby is born with a birth defect: giving up their children to be orphans in a care center or raise the children themselves.
My film focuses very narrowly on one kid, my friend and colleague, Le Minh Chau, and his struggle to become an artist despite seemingly insurmountable odds. In focusing on his reality, one could argue, I leave out other realities that may very well indeed be much more necessary to talk about. While I do not think the topics rank, I want to use this post to speak about and bring awareness to another side of the coin.
Below is a film I feel is very important in understanding 1. A different perspective of those affected by Agent Orange, 2. A first hand account of the spraying of Agent Orange, and 3. The rural situation versus the city situation (having a sponsor versus not having a sponsor) for a child with a disability caused by Agent Orange.
By understanding what is happening in other parts of the world, even though it is not something we are looking faced with every day, we can come closer to being a united world and hopefully, together prevent the tragedies of our past.