Freedom, Democracy, No Communism for Vietnam

Bolinao 52

Bolinao 52 Trailer

On May 22, 1988 110 Vietnamese refugees escaped on a wooden boat. For the next 37 days, they fought thirst, starvation and death as their engine gave out. In the end, only 52 survived. Two decades later, one survivor relives her dark journey.



Vietnamese American Journey: Bolinao 52

K. Oanh Ha interviews Bolinao 52 filmmaker Duc Nguyen and boat survivor, Tung Trinh, the woman featured in the film. Duc Nguyen explains why he felt driven, as a boat refugee himself, to tell this story. Tung Trinh boarded the boat that became known as the Bolinao 52 in 1988, with her young five year old son, Lam, never realizing the ordeal that they would both endure. The refugees hoped to make it to the South China Sea to be picked up by passing ships. Only two days out, the engine died, and soon food and water ran out and over half of the 110 refugees perished from the hunger, thirst and exposure. Their boat drifted for thirty-seven days before the
Pilipino fisherman from the town of Bolinao rescued the refugees. Tung Trinh recounts a remarkable story of survival and the power of the human spirit.



Bolinao 52


Bolinao 52


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