Clusterbombs for Ukraine Will Bring Danger for Generations

July 21st, 2023 - by Bullfrog Films


Clusterbombs Headed for Ukraine
Still Haunt the Fields of Vietnam and Laos
Bullfrog Films

United States President Joe Biden has decided that the US will provide Ukraine with cluster bombs (“bombies”) to use in their ongoing war with Russia. Despite a bi-partisan effort in the House to amend the National Defense Authorization Act in order to block such a deal, cluster munitions have already begun to arrive in Ukraine.

We need only look at the history of the Vietnam War for a lesson on the deadly legacy of cluster bombs and indiscriminate carpet-bombing.

Produced by Jerry Redfern and Karen Coates, the new Bullfrog Films release Eternal Harvest introduces viewers to Laotians who lived through that Vietnam-era bombing campaign and those who still live with unexploded cluster bombs in their fields and villages today.

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 unexploded ordnance (UXO), 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.

Ia Yang was 10 in 2017 when she found a tiny, 50-year-old American bomb on the roadside in northern Laos. She thought it was a ball and tossed it. It exploded and killed her instantly. Through the stories of a dozen Lao people and one retired American grade school principal, Eternal Harvest traces the results of US foreign policy and ongoing efforts to fix this little-known legacy of the Vietnam War, which has killed and injured more than 20,000.

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.

Eternal Harvest is available on DVD with public performance rights for school and library purchase or rental. Our DVD release includes 5.1 Surround Sound and English SDH captions.

Academic streaming can be licensed from Docuseek. Campus and community groups interested in hosting a community screening can book now through Bullfrog Communities.