Orange Witness 2012
Distributed by Green Planet Films, PO Box 247, Corte Madera, CA 94976-0247; 415-377-5471
Produced by Andrew Nisker
Directed by Andrew Nisker
VHS , color, 88 min.
Jr. High - General Adult
Date Entered: 10/30/2013Reviewed by Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State University Libraries, Bowling Green, OH
Agent Orange, a potent herbicide composed of a 50-50 mix of 2,4-D (Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) and 2,4,5-T (2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxyacetic acid) was used by the U.S. as a defoliant during the Vietnam War. A byproduct of the manufacture of 2,4,5-T is TCDD or dioxin (2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin), a persistent highly toxic pollutant. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) dioxins can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer. The spraying of Agent Orange and the problems resulting from Agent Orange exposure are documented in several motion pictures. Among them, Agent Orange: A Personal Requiem, The Friendship Village, and The Last Ghost of War are reviewed in EMRO. In addition to the Vietnam exposures, now affecting 3 generations, this film documents the use of Agent Orange or component herbicides in New Zealand, Canada, and the United States from the 1940’s to today.
Through interviews with those exposed used as voice over commentaries on military, government or commercial spraying, the film provides convincing evidence of the potential extent of herbicide exposure, potentially dioxin exposure, throughout the world. The U.S. still claims there is no link to health problems from Agent Orange. Also, 2,4-D, a possible carcinogen according to Oregon residents interviewed for the film, is a very popular and quite widely used agricultural weed killer today. The extent of potential use of Agent Orange, the 50-50 mixture, may never be known since that 50-50 combination was sold as a home weed killer under the Black Flag label in the U.S. and Canada in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
This video is recommended to those interested in the effects of Agent Orange exposure and the potential long-term effects of herbicides in our environment. The folks at Take Action Films, those responsible for Orange Witness, should be acknowledged as leaders in exploring the extent of use of Agent Orange and its component herbicides world-wide. Their research has uncovered previously unknown use of the mixture in New Zealand, Canada and the U.S.