March 17, 2022

Award-winning documentary “The People vs. Agent Orange” premiere and first-time roundtable discussion in Vietnam

March 17, 2022, 18:30 – 21:00

Fulbright University Vietnam is delighted to invite you to an in-person premiere and hybrid roundtable discussion with the filmmakers of the award-winning documentary “The People vs. Agent Orange: We have the right to protect ourselves from being poisoned”. Joined us in this very first-time screening in Vietnam are directors Mr. Alan Adelson and Ms. Kate Taverna, Founder of War Legacies Project – Ms. Susan Hammond, the French-Vietnamese activist Ms. Tran To Nga, and Dr. Vu Minh Hoang, the film’s research assistant and also a Faculty Member in History and Vietnam Studies at Fulbright.

 Nearly 60 years following the use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War—the deadliest use of chemical warfare in history—the devastating aftereffects of the toxin remain lethal, demanding attention both in Vietnam and at home in America. “The People vs. Agent Orange” closely follows two activists as they take on the chemical industry, and demand accountability for the pernicious legacy caused by the use of this poisonous herbicide.

French-Vietnamese activist Tran To Nga and American activist Carol Van Strum are joined in mutual pain and purpose in their quest for justice. Tran spent seven years building a legal case against the American chemical industry for poisoning her and her family in Vietnam—causing severe health issues and deformity—after 12 million gallons of the toxic herbicide were used there by the American military in the ’60s and ’70s. Stateside in Oregon, Carol Van Strum fights intimidation and threats by timber interests as she brings to light damning corporate documentation of the deadly impacts of the chemical 24D, even as it was widely used in her community, with no public consultation or warnings.

“The People vs. Agent Orange” unites these two activists nearly halfway around the world from each other, both equally passionate and righteous in their causes, in a staggering examination of corruption for which there has been no accountability.

The documentary won the Jury Award in the 2020 Eugene Environmental Film Festival and the Organization of American Historians 2021 Erik Barnouw award. It is also rated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, the world’s most trusted recommendation resource for quality entertainment. Watch the film’s official trailer HERE.

In the very first-time screening in Vietnam, the documentary will be shown in-person only at Fulbright University Vietnam, Crescent Campus. You are not allowed to take photographs and record videos while the documentary is being screened. The follow-up hybrid roundtable will be conducted via Zoom and publicly broadcasted on Fulbright University Vietnam’s official Facebook page.

Join Fulbright in this exciting in-person screening and hybrid roundtable discussion!

⏰Time: 6:30 – 9:00 PM on Thursday, March 17, 2022 (Vietnam time, GMT +7)

📌Location: Classroom 501, Floor 5, Crescent Campus, Fulbright University Vietnam

👉 Register at:


Fulbright Speakers’ Series is a quest for knowledge and understanding with diverse incisive viewpoints of prominent authors, both in Vietnam and globally, venturing into a myriad of topics ranging from development history and current Vietnam in the context of globalization, to the importance of mental health in being a compassionate community member.

About the speakers:

Alan Adelson – Director, Producer, Writer, has overlapping careers in documentary film and investigative journalism. Adelson produced and co-directed Lodz Ghetto (1988) with Kate Taverna. The documentary was shortlisted for the Academy Award Best Documentary Oscar 1989. The filmmaker couple also produced and directed Two Villages in Kosovo (2006) for Arte, and the widely acclaimed In Bed with Ulysses (2012). Adelson made worldwide headlines with his investigative articles in Esquire and The Wall Street Journal revealing the disappearance of enriched plutonium from an American nuclear reprocessing plant.

Kate Taverna – Director, Producer, Editor, has co-directed and edited four documentaries with Adelson. Taverna has edited more than 50 independent feature documentaries, shorts, and broadcast films over a career spanning more than 35 years for PBS, Arte, BBC, HBO, A&E, IFC, and global broadcasters. Asylum (2004) and Killing in the Name (2011) were both Academy Award nominees in the Best Short Documentary category. Pray the Devil Back to Hell won Best Documentary at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival and led to a Nobel Prize being awarded to its central protagonist, Leymah Gbowee.

Tran To Nga – a French-Vietnamese activist, used to be a reporter for the Liberation News Agency (now the Vietnam News Agency). During her time as a war correspondent, she was exposed to Agent Orange sprayed by the US Military, after which she contracted many diseases, and her health deteriorated severely, affecting her children. Her first child died at the age of 17 months, while the other two and their children also suffered from many diseases due to dioxin exposure. In 2014, Nga filed a lawsuit to the Evry Court (France) to sue 26 American chemical companies for supplying Agent Orange for the US Military use in Vietnam War in the 1960s-1970s. In May 2021, nevertheless, the French Crown Court of Evry city declared rejection to Ms. Tran To Nga in her lawsuit. At the age of nearly 80 years old and suffering from all kinds of illnesses due to Agent Orange exposure, she still regularly travels between France and Vietnam to stand side by side with Vietnamese Agent Orange victims in the struggle for justice and better lives.

Susan Hammond – Founder of War Legacies Project and the film’s sponsor, was born as a daughter of a U.S. Vietnam veteran. She became interested in post-war Southeast Asia after traveling to Vietnam and Cambodia in 1991. She was involved in fostering mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and addressing the long-term impacts of war while working as the Deputy Director of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development from 1996 to 2007. In 2007, Susan returned to her home state of Vermont and founded War Legacies Project. In 2019, she received the Vietnam Order of Friendship medal for her more than two decades of dedication.

Vu Minh Hoang – the film’s research assistant, is a diplomatic historian of 20th century Vietnam and the Asia-Pacific, studying national and regional security, economics, interests and identity formation, and genocide. His works have been presented at international conferences like the annual meetings of the Association of Asian Studies, the American Historical Association, and Engaging with Vietnam; and has appeared in the Journal of Vietnamese Studies, and various edited volumes. He is now a faculty member in History and Vietnam Studies, Fulbright University Vietnam.