Movie Review: Bolinao 52 By Duc Nguyen

Following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, millions of people fled Vietnam for fearing the “reeducation camps” and other forms of retaliation from the new communist government. Many refugees called “boat people”, made their routes by sailing through the ocean, and they had to risk their lives for a new haven. It is estimated that half of refugees could not made their ways, and ocean was their graves. In 2008, Director Duc Nguyen released his documentary film Bolinao 52, a movie about Vietnamese refugees on a fatal boat, which reveals the plight of boat people and the ordeals they had to fight for their survival.
“Bolinao 52” is the name of a group of 110 refugees who set out their voyages on a small boat in 1988. On this crowded boat, only
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Soon after leaving Vietnam, the boat’s engine died. Everybody got into a panic, and thereby, their battle began. This is not a battle of armed forces and weapons, but of resilience and suffering, and the enemies are the thirst and hunger. Drifting in sea without enough food and water, many people could not resist the death. Recalling the haunting past, one women sitting next to Trinh had died in her arms. Lives of boat people are so faint. They live for today, but they do not know if they still survive tomorrow. They live in the hope that saviors will come to save them. When “Bolinao 52” people saw their saviors, however, they were denied the help. A US Navy ship refused to rescue them, alleging that it was on duty. The image that a starving man using his remaining energy swam towards the Navy ship to implore for help shows the brutality of life. Boat people fought desperately for their survival. They were abandoned by the fate, and by the humans who were saviors to their hope. As Trinh mentioned her companions’ deaths, she often repeats “Everyone has their own fate.” She speaks as if life belongs to God, and people cannot resist if God wants their …show more content…
The terrible thirst compelled Trinh to drink her son’s urine to survive, and the extreme hunger forced them to resort to cannibalism. When Trinh is asked about this problem, with great difficulty, she describes how it happened. Although she denies seeing any such killing on the boat, the truth of taking death persons for food shocks may viewers. This may be the biggest darkness in her memory. Why do such savage things happen? That is because of survival. It is just the choice between life and death which causes the dehumanization of these miserable refugees. We could not blame them for inhumanity, for if we were in their situation, no one could be sure that we would not do the

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