Following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, millions refugees took the perilous escape across South China Sea to find freedom. Many died of drowning or starvation and thirst. Other lost at sea for days while some were pillaged, robbed and raped by pirates. However, more than 30 years after, no major film or television program tells their stories. Bolinao 52 is a long-silenced voice, an unspoken legacy of the Vietnam War - the story of the Vietnamese Boat People.
When Tung Trinh, a survivor of the Bolinao 52, stepped foot onto a crowded boat one night in May 1988, she did not know it was a trip that forever changed her life. After leaving Vietnam the Bolinao 52 engine died. They were ignored by passing ships. 19 days later, a US Navy ship stopped. But the captain refused to pick up the dying refugees. Facing death, they resorted to cannibalism. After 37 days at sea, 52 of 110 survived. Two decades later, this Bolinao 52 survivor returned to her past to close off the unresolved chapters.
Airs Thursday, June 7 at 9:00 PM on PBS OC