Ed Kashi’s "The Leaves Keep Falling"


Nguyen Thi Ly, 9

Ed Kashi’s new documentary short, “The Leaves Keep Falling”, produced and edited by Julie Winokur of Talking Eyes Media, debuted this month in CA and travels to NY for screenings in September.

This short film follows the devastating effect of Agent Orange, an herbicide sprayed over Vietnam during the Vietnam war, through  families whose children are severely disabled due to exposure to the dioxin in Agent Orange. We are given a brief introduction to US Military justifications for using the pesticide. Time has proven those rationalizations were either misinformed or downright false.  The rest of the film portrays the circumstances of two families.  The narratives are emotional… as to be expected when one observes the grievous effects of warfare on innocent children three generations past a war.

While informing and reminding us of the serious consequences of policy and accountability in warfare, this film moves beyond serving as an important depiction of these families. Rather, in just over 15 minutes we are able to see the disparity between a family receiving aid and assistance versus one without.  Through moving accounts with family members, we bear witness to how they cope with caring for their children within the many fragments of family life: living conditions, monetary needs, food, medicine, healthcare and community.

Mother with her sons

The mother of two disabled boys voices a heart wrenching observation twice in the documentary.  We see her tiny body lift and care for her teenage and adult sons day in and out, making sure they have food, hygiene, exercise and care.  “What will happen to them after we are gone?”  In a culture so reliant on strong core family responsibilities and a society with few assistance programs for those who are still suffering from a war in the past, the impending question looms.

An arduous appeal is given, embodied by her healthy daughter.

Watch Kashi’s video here:




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