Students to screen Laos documentaries

Jessica Spitz

Six documentaries made by students who traveled to Laos last spring break will be screened in Ahmanson Lecture Hall Oct. 24.

The documentaries focus on the victims of unexploded ordinance left in Laos after the Vietnam War.

The Say No to UXO Club is organizing the event, including the silent auction that will take place before the films are shown.

Framed photos taken during the trip will be sold to raise money to donate to the people the students met while in Laos.

“We want people to be aware of the atrocities that happened in Laos,” said Danielle Stolz ’15, one of the students who went on the trip. “I didn’t even know about the Secret War until I talked to the people there.”

The Secret War refers to the illegal bombing of Laos by the United States in the 1970s. Many of the unexploded bombs that were dropped remain in Laos’ soil today, posing a constant threat to civilians.

Upper school visual arts department head Cheri Gaulke was one of the leaders of the trip and is helping students create their videos and find ways to spread their message.

In addition to  screening the documentaries, Gaulke plans to enter them in film festivals and put them on multiple websites.

“We want the students to be responsible, active citizens in creating change about the issues that they learned about,” Gaulke said. “We’re trying to empower students to not just have an experience, but to tell people about the experience in an artful manner.”