Tom Vater

Tom Vater

Eclectic crime fiction and informed, irreverent non-fiction from Asia and beyond

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The Most Secret Place on Earth (The CIA Covert War in Laos) screening at FCC Bangkok


After showing at numerous international film festivals and several broadcasts on terrestrial European television, Marc Eberle’s The Most Secret Place on Earth (The CIA Covert War in Laos), co-written by Tom Vater, was screened a second time at the Foreign Correspondents Club Thailand in Bangkok on November 22nd, 2010.

Director Marc Eberle, screen writer Tom Vater and writer/anti war activist Fred Branfman, one of the principal characters in the film, were present at the screening.


The FCC was packed, Australian journalist Jim Pollard hosted the event, and the panel Q&A was interesting with some great questions and contributions from the floor:

A lecturer from Mahidon University asked how much the CIA was involved into Thai politics today.

A nobel peace laureate (Susan Walker, who shared the price (as a member of ICBC) in 1997 for her work on banning UXO) also turned out to be the daughter of an Air America pilot (Father made war, daughter cleans it up – the archetypal and defining American story of our time?).

The Laotian wife of a Russian journalist poured her heart out about the US bombing she survived in Laos.

Above all, whistle blower, anti-war activist and friend Fred Branfman delivered a blistering talk on US foreign policy in relation to Laos, Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s and Afghanistan and Pakistan today, reminding us that the US government, a criminal syndicate, as he put it, is responsible for 21 million deaths since WW2, engages in systematic war crimes as defined by the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg Trials, and is running death squads without oversight around the world today, just as they did in Southeast Asia in the 1970s. Fred closed with the remark that is it not politics that makes the world so catastrophic but our sick species, us non-humans.


Images by Michael LaPalme.

4 Responses to “The Most Secret Place on Earth (The CIA Covert War in Laos) screening at FCC Bangkok”

  1. 1
    Frank Teeuwen:

    Dear Tom,

    I unfortunately missed the movie showing on Monday in Bangkok, is the movie already for sale somewhere?

    Pleased to hear.


    Frank Teeuwen

  2. 2

    Unfortunately, the DVD is not out yet. When it is released, I will post it on my site and I imagine it will be available at the FCC Bangkok.

  3. 3

    where can I see in the United States? When will the DVD be released?

  4. 4

    So far, the film has not been broadcast in the two countries where it should really be seen – the US and Laos. A DVD is in the works and will be announced on this site. Further showing will also be listed here.

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