What Agent Orange did

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ENTERTAINMENT -

sec­ond time, blues out­fit Rollin’ Six­ers set a chilled mood for the night with a mix of songs, in­clud­ing a few from their forth­com­ing al­bum.

In the crowd was Aida Ramli, 31, who didn’t want to miss her sec­ond out­ing to the fest.

“I al­most couldn’t make it, hav­ing a wed­ding to at­tend ear­lier,” she said, adding that she was happy that she made it. “My friends are with the EcoKnights (the NGO or­gan­is­ing the event) and I think what they’re do­ing to ed­u­cate the stu­dents is re­ally im­por­tant.”

Pick­ing up the pace af­ter Rollin’ Sixer’s slow-burn­ing set was the Eco Drum Cir­cle crew. The en­thu­si­as­tic teenagers drummed the live­li­ness back into the au­di­ence, per­form­ing in near-dark­ness, the only light source be­ing trippy neon-bright glow­sticks tied to their re­cy­cled drums.

The crowd’s en­ergy lev­els were lifted ... just right for the next set by Monoloque which, oddly enough, had a rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of P. Ram­lee’s clas­sic, Tiada Kata Se­can­tik Ba­hasa Aizat Am­dan pro­vided acous­tic bliss in a stripped-down set. that the crowd had no prob­lem sing­ing a long to. Loque sheep­ishly asked the au­di­ence to ex­cuse his band for be­ing plugged in de­spite be­ing on the X Plugged stage.

Round­ing out the night’s per­for­mances THE Eco Film Fest in Univer­siti Malaya show­cased a solid line-up of en­vi­ron­men­tal short-films over the course of the week-long fes­ti­val. The doc­u­men­taries cov­ered sub­jects rang­ing from the im­pact of live­stock pro­duc­tion ( Meat The Truth) and global warm­ing ( Ev­ery­thing’s Cool) to closer to home topics like the plight of tur­tles in Penyu Me­nangis.

One of the movies that stood out was Agent Orange: 30 Years Later, di­rected by long-time Dis­ney dig­i­tal artist, John Trinh, 54.

Not to be con­fused with the Ama­zon.com short film of the same name, Agent Orange touched on the dis­as­trous ef­fects of the her­bi­cide Agent Orange that was used in Viet­nam dur­ing the 1960s.

Trinh first heard of Agent Orange when read­ing about the law­suit filed by Viet­namese vic­tims in 2004. He spent the next three years and more than US$96,000(RM297,600) of his sav­ings to pro­duce the doc­u­men­tary.

“I man­aged to keep the bud­get small by be­ing a one man crew. I was the di­rec­tor, John Trinh, the di­rec­tor of were solo acts by in­die jazz sweet­heart Ami­rah Ali and ris­ing star Aizat Am­dan. Aizat, with a lone gui­tar to light up his per­for­mance, sang the en­vi­ro­men­tal tune Sungei Lui and his big hit Pergi. He was truly cam­era­man, and even jan­i­tor,” he joked.

It was a sub­ject close to Trinh’s heart, as he had lived in Viet­nam till he was 30, be­fore mov­ing to Los An­ge­les. “See­ing the vic­tims gave me goose­bumps, it made me think ‘that could have been me’.”

Trinh at­tended both days of the Eco Film Fest week­end, giv­ing the UM stu­dents in the au­di­ence a chance to in­ter­view the di­rec­tor af­ter the film. He was very en­cour­aged by how pas­sion­ate they were, say­ing “they care more about the en­vi­ron­ment than my gen­er­a­tion did. This aware­ness is im­por­tant, ‘ cause if you kill the en­vi­ron­ment, you’re killing your­self.”

He added that the fate of the en­vi­ron­ment rested in the hands of the youth, and it was up to them to re­verse the dam­age caused by their par­ents’ gen­er­a­tion. To achieve that goal, cam­paigns like the Eco Film Fest were in­valu­able tools to ed­u­cate them. “Ul­ti­mately, peo­ple can­not sep­a­rate them­selves from the en­vi­ron­ment, just like Agent Orange can­not be sep­a­rated from those af­fected by it,” he said. a crowd favourite de­spite an acous­tic two­piece set (ac­com­pa­nied by a per­cus­sion­ist). The lights went out for the last time that night, leav­ing many at the Eco Film Fest with smiles to take home.

Rollin’ Six­ers dip­ping into the blues rock pool.

Agent Orange:30YearsLater

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