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Rebecca Rusch Blood Road Film Screening 7/13 5:30pm

20 June 2017 No Comment

Rebecca Rusch, affectionately known as The Queen of Pain, is among the greatest female ultra-endurance mountain bikers in the world. While she’s used to pushing her body to the limit, nothing could prepare her for the emotional journey she took in 2015 when she pedaled 1,200 miles of the Ho Chi Minh trail in search of the crash site that claimed the life of her father during the Vietnam War.

Blood Road is a journey of hope and discovery—a way for Rebecca to begin a fresh relationship with the father she lost so long ago.

Joined by Vietnamese competitive biking champion Huyen Nguyen, Rebecca travels through the dense jungles of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. While Nguyen helps Rebecca understand the cultural context of her quest, the women forge a deep bond triggered by a shared experience of war and loss. As the pair 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 learn about 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 that are 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 Rebecca and Nguyen finally arrive at the crash site that marks the end of one story and the beginning of another. Throughout her journey, Rebecca 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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