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During the Vietnam War, the United States dropped 20 million gallons of chemicals onto the dense jungles of Vietnam, in order to rid the Northern Vietnamese Army of their food and cover. More than 40 years later, Chau, a teenager living in a Vietnamese care center for kids disabled by the chemical Agent Orange, battles with the reality of his dream to one day become a professional artist. With a rare disability in his arms and legs, Chau is repeatedly told his dream is not only unrealistic, but impossible. At age 17 and against all odds, Chau ventures out into the real world to see, if in fact, he can make his dream a reality.
It will chew you up, spit you out, and you'll feel good about it.
There is so much more to War Within the Walls than just the tale of a boy trying to achieve his dreams, all the while having a disability. It's a story of hope in a world plagued with afflictions. But there is an antagonist to this story, and his name is Agent Orange.
People talk about the "lingering" effects of Agent Orange, but it's part of these children with every breath they take. Viewers may find themselves shocked by how affected these kids are decades after the use of this chemical.
Beyond the hope of Chau, our protagonist, the film also focuses on the bleak future these kids face as well as the strange world they already live in. There is a sense of camaraderie among these kids growing up together, but that doesn't necessarily they always get along.
The film has many tender and poignant moments, all the while brimming with brutal truths. The camera has a tendency to linger for all the right reasons. It'll knock you for a loop, but in the end, you'll be glad you watched it.
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