While the notion of closure has become one of American culture's most banal cliches, "Bolinao 52" earns its catharsis, because the subjects have lived with the pain for so long they're ready to let some of it go. In telling the story of one boat, Nguyen is hoping that he'll ease some of the burden of many who survived the South China Sea passage.

Long after the Vietnam War had ended, refugees were still streaming out of that country on small boats pathetically ill-equipped for long ocean voyages. Of the millions who attempted to escape, it is believed as many as half died. One of the most horrifying such odysseys is recounted in this documentary by Duc Nguyen.

If you're looking for the doc competition's most horrific narrative, seek out Bolinao 52, a nevertheless gracious film that gets to bottom of what happened to a group of Vietnamese "boat people" who attempted to leave their country in 1988... And if that kind of trauma can eventually lead to healing, there's hope yet for the subjects of all the other films-- not to mention the world as a whole.
Be prepared, be ready to have your heart bleed for your race, the human race.
This film showed what mental and physical endurance really means. When there is nothing left but hope and a strong belief in faith--when food and water are at stake.