Poster for Vapor Trail (Clark)

Vapor Trail (Clark)

Director: John Gianvito Run Time: 264 min. Format: Digital Projection Release Year: 2010

Starring: Myrla Baldonado, Teofilo 'Boojie' Juatco

New England Legacy: John Gianvito

At the sites of former U.S. military bases [Clark Air Base] in the Philippines that were once vital staging areas for wars in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf, local residents are suffering from serious health problems due to soil contamination by chemical agents. This film not only listens carefully to the voices of the struggling victims and their families, but also turns the camera on the battles and turbulent personal history of an activist who supports them, shining a light on the patterns of social inequality that have repeatedly emerged in the modern history of the Philippines, while showing the dignity of the oppressed. The film also incorporates photos depicting the nation’s historical relations with America in the late 19th century and analyzes the lingering influence of its subjugation. An homage to Tsuchimoto Noriaki [the acclaimed Japanese director of a series of documentary investigations following the Minamata mercury poisonings]. (Yamagata IDFF program notes)

Along with Wake (Subic), both parts of this diptych will be available to stream for free from September 27 – October 3, 2021 as part of the DocYard’s New England Legacy retrospective screenings featuring John Gianvito.