A FILM ABOUT RESPONSIBILITY
Between 1964 and 1973, in an offshoot of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military dropped 4 billion pounds of explosives on Laos, making it the most heavily bombed country—per capita—on the planet. Up to 30 percent of those bombs did not detonate, and they remain in the Laotian soil today as UXO—unexploded ordnance—contaminating more than one-third of surface area of the country. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and injured in UXO accidents since the war officially ended. The first bombs fell more than 50 years ago, and still today, more Laotians are hurt and killed.
This film introduces Laotians who lived through the bombing campaign and those who live with bombs in their fields today. We feature local and foreign experts who explain the scope and hazards of the problem as well as how UXO is removed safely.
Hundreds of Laotians work daily to clear bombs from their country. Only a handful of Americans have ever joined them. One, Jim Harris, is a retired school principal from Wisconsin. He has returned year after year for more than 20 years—to atone for the incredible devastation committed by his government.
Between 1964 and 1973, the US flew around 600,000 attack missions in Laos. It was the largest such campaign in history.
Afterward, an estimated 80 million unexploded bombs remained in Laotian soil as unexploded ordnance (UXO).
Unknown thousands died during the bombings—and more than 20,000 Laotians have been killed or injured by UXO since the end of war.
While thousands of people—from Laos and across the globe—have worked to clear the UXO,
only a handful have been Americans.
We have spent more than a decade reporting on UXO in Laos.
In fact, we wrote
a whole book about it:
Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos
Click below to read more about it.