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Nguyen (Duc) Video Footage for Bolinao 52

About this Collection

This collection includes raw video footage used in the creation of the Emmy-winning documentary, "Bolinao 52" (2008), by Duc Nguyen.

Following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, millions of refugees took the perilous voyage across the South China Sea to find freedom. Many drowned or died of thirst and starvation. Some were lost at sea for days while others were pillaged, robbed and raped by pirates.

Filmmaker Duc Nguyen, himself a boat refugee, retraced the odyssey of the Bolinao 52 and revealed an incredible tale of survival, reconciliation and closure.

"Bolinao 52" tells the story of the one hundred and ten refugees who boarded a crowded boat one night in May 1988. Soon after leaving Vietnam, the boat’s engine died. They were ignored by over 20 passing ships. Nineteen days later, the USS Dubuque stopped, but the ship’s captain refused to pick up the dying refugees. Facing death, they resorted to cannibalism. After 37 days at sea, only 52 people survived. Finally, humble fishermen rescued and brought them to a town called Bolinao, Philippines.

Seventeen years later, a survivor, Tung Trinh, came forward with her side of the Bolinao 52 story. Duc Nguyen also interviewed Lam Phan (Tung Trinh's son), William E. Cloonan (witness aboard the USS Dubuque), and Carlos Cagusaan (fisherman and rescuer).

More information about "Bolinao 52" may be found at
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