The film short, Blood Road, follows the journey of ultra-endurance mountain biker Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner, Huyen Nguyen, as they pedal 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail through the dense jungles of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Their goal: to reach the crash site and final resting place of Rebecca’s father, a U.S. Air Force pilot shot down over Laos some 40 years earlier.
During this poignant voyage of self discovery, the women push their bodies to the limit while learning more about the historic ‘Blood Road’ they’re pedaling and how the Vietnam War shaped their lives in different ways.
As the duo test the boundaries of their athletic abilities, occasionally reaching their breaking points, they learn how conflict connected their cultures, even as it tore their families apart. They also glean the tragic history of the Blood Road, which leads them through the heart of darkness and into the light of local villages and Buddhist monasteries still marked by the painful relics of war, and populated by generous townspeople who share their stories.
These experiences create a rich backdrop leading to the poignant moment when Rusch and Nguyen finally arrive at the crash site, marking the end of one story and the beginning of another. Throughout her journey, Rusch continues to synthesize how her family’s story flows into the river of history that continues to define the lives of generations of Southeast Asian people.
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