La guerra che resta
festivals & awards:
What is the most heavily bombed country in History? A country that never formally entered a war, Laos. Between 1964 and 1973, during the Vietnam war, the American air force carried out over 500.000 bombing missions over Laos, drop- ping more than 2 million tons of explosives over the country.
Forty years later, everything has changed in Laos, but people’s lives are still deeply affected by the omnipresence of war remnants, scattered in cultivated fields, forests, villages and even cities. The unexploded ordnance now represents a danger and a resource: the bombs that have made, since the end of the war, more than 22.000 victims, have been transformed into troughs for animals, water tanks, flower pots, fences, scales, mothproof columns for traditional stilt houses. The bombers’ fuel tanks are still turned into boats, projectiles become anvils for traditional forge shops, all kinds of metal are converted into utensils or building material for industrial foundries.
The Remnants is a journey into the contradictions of today’s wars, in which the remains of the conflict always outlive the conflict itself. It is a journey into the culture and spirituality of a people that manages to incorporate good and evil, construction and destruction, and to convert killing objects into handy tools to tackle everyday life.