Documentary Screening: Waiting to Explode
Visitors Center Theater
Saturday, November 12
Showings at 1 and 3 pm, followed by Q&A
Journalist Jessica Pearce Rotondi, Board member of Legacies of War and author of What We Inherit: A Secret War and a Family’s Search for Answers.
Jim Harris of We Help War Victims.
Yosh Yamanaka, of UXO Clearance Laos, the film’s producer.
About the Film
“Waiting to Explode” demonstrates the need for assisting innocent victims of war. This documentary follows the rehabilitation of two of the many victims wounded by cluster bombs that failed to explode when dropped by warplanes over 50 years ago. The bombs are remnants of the so-called “Secret War” waged by the C.I.A. but unknown to American civilians during the Vietnam war. Of 270 million antipersonnel bombs on neutral Laos, about 30% failed to denote, leaving 80 million cluster bombs left in fields and streams, schoolyards, rice fields, and villages.
The film follows two victims of accidental explosions. Mr. Lee, a double amputee, achieved self-sufficiency after humanitarians helped him establish a minimart he now operates in his rural village. Two-year-old Kayeng, blinded by an exploding bomb, received multiple facial and eye surgeries donated by medical specialists in Bangkok, enabling him to attend a school for the blind without excruciating pain. Their stories exemplify the urgency of aiding victims and hastening removal of the unexploded ordnance that remain hidden in fields and villages in Laos, waiting to explode.