Supernatural Thriller – MIA: A Greater Evil – Still Haunting The Jungles
M.I.A. A Greater Evil: A controversial new film explores the fate of American POWs abandoned in the jungle after the Vietnam War
A new supernatural thriller about the Vietnam War deals with one of its bitterest controversies: the fate of American POWs left behind in the jungle after the US pulled out of Vietnam.
Set on the Vietnamese-Laotian border, the film follows a group of young American students searching for gold. Lost after an unplanned detour, they’re tracked and hunted through the jungle by something with links to the Vietnam War.
Director Abishek J Bajaj said: “Unusually, for an English language film about the war, M.I.A. A Greater Evil also deals with the fate of North Vietnamese soldiers still-missing from the conflict. They are often forgotten in modern cinema, but the missing still cause great emotional trauma in Vietnam. We also had to shoot an alternative ending to the film for the Vietnamese market, because it’s forbidden to show ghosts in Vietnamese cinema.”
Peter Alan Lloyd, the film’s British screenwriter, has travelled extensively in the region looking for clues about missing POWs and MIAs. He has written books and articles on the conflict in Vietnam and about events along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos, where the film is based.
“I definitely believe some men were left behind after the Vietnam War ended,” says Lloyd. “There’s too much supporting evidence. I also believe there has been a trail of cover-ups, mistakes, incompetence and lies told by successive US Administrations to the families of the missing. This has allowed deep-rooted conspiracy theories to grow.”
Producer Byron Bishop commented: “There is certainly evidence that some American POWs were held in jungle camps in Vietnam and Laos after the US pulled out in 1973. Our film explores what might have happened to them, as seen through the eyes of modern-day Adventure Backpackers who also find themselves lost out there.”
The low-budget film was shot in ten grueling days on location in the jungles, caves, rivers and mountains of Thailand.
“The filming presented major technical and wildlife challenges, including stampeding wild elephants in the dead of night and jungle snakes, scorpions, bats and spiders. We shot the whole film on location,” says Bajaj. “We believe it was all worth it.”
M.I.A. A Greater Evil might be one of the most important films of the year, dealing with highly emotional and disturbing issues that have seemingly been swept under the rug.