RESIST, REFORM, REPEAT: Vietnam, The Secret Agent is the second installment of our series: FROM THE VAULT: WOMEN’S ADVOCACY ON FILM, a program co-presented with Women’s Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) and New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT). In this program, we present nonfiction films that have shaped movements, provide perspectives on political, environmental, and human rights issues; and confront ideas around gender identity, gender roles, sexuality, health and family, all from a woman’s perspective. Following the program, we will host discussion around these explorations of story and truth, their innovative approaches to documentary filmmaking, and their subjects that continue to be relevant today to filmmakers, activists, and media consumers working to creatively affect change. The series is curated by WFPF Co-Chair Kirsten Larvick, with programming assistance from Ann Deborah Levy and Raquel Salazar-Foster.
In this second installment, we will showcase a Sundance special Jury winning film Vietnam: The Secret Agent. It was the first film, using now familiar archival footage, to examine the legacy of exposure to dioxin spray — better known as Agent Orange – used extensively during the Vietnam War. The film is an invaluable document that reflects on past and present US wartime involvement and treatment of veterans, sustained abuse to the environment, and the residual unresolved issues of the Vietnam War. The film includes scenes of a young Al Gore and the music of renowned protest singer, Country Joe McDonald. It has won the John Grierson Award for Best New Director at the American Film Festival and also received a Certificate of Merit from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.