Bombies (2001)

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Between 1964 and 1973, the United States military dropped two million tons of bombs on Laos. Because many of these bombs did not explode, they remain dangerous 30 years later. Bombies offers an overview of the dangers Laotians continue to face as well as the ongoing attempts by international organizations to rid the countryside of these bombs. The United States began bombing Laos to cut the North Vietnamese supply lines, despite having signed the Geneva Accords in 1962 which rendered Laos neutral. It is estimated that ten to 30 percent of the cluster bombs dropped did not explode, meaning that ten to 30 million live bombs littered the rural countryside when the Vietnam War ended. Buried in the earth and stuck in trees, many bombies explode when struck by a hoe or mistaken by a child for a toy. Since 1973 there have been 12,000 casualties. The presence of bombs in the soil has also slowed economic growth: Developing new earth can be deadly. While organizations like the Mine Advisory Group (MAG) continue removing potential threats, many believe the elimination of the bombies will take decades. Bombies includes interviews with Laotians, relief workers, and political activists.