Boat People

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  • R
  • 1982
  • 1 hr 46 min
  • 7.6  (1,650)

Boat People is a 1982 film directed by Ann Hui, set in post-war Vietnam. The movie is a powerful and emotional drama that tells the story of a group of Western journalists who go to Vietnam after the war to document the reconstruction efforts. In the process, they uncover the horrible truths about the country’s political and social state.

The film opens with Lin, a Hong Kong photographer, traveling to Vietnam to document the country’s reconstruction efforts. On his arrival, he meets a young Vietnamese woman, Cam Nu, who is planning to escape to Hong Kong to reunite with her father, who has been missing for several years. Lin agrees to take her along on his boat as he travels around the country to document the effects of the war.

As they travel, they witness the inhumane treatment of the Vietnamese people by their own government, particularly the forced labor of the “boat people.” These boat people are Vietnamese who were trying to flee their country in search of a better life but were denied the opportunity to do so. They were rounded up and forced to work in the country’s post-war reconstruction efforts, often in brutal conditions and without pay.

Lin and Cam Nu quickly realize that they are in over their heads as they become embroiled in the struggle between the Vietnamese government and the boat people. They witness firsthand the human rights violations, the corruption, and the brutality of the political regime.

As they continue their journey, Lin and Cam Nu are joined by Kwok, a Chinese American journalist who is also traveling around Vietnam to document the post-war situation. Kwok is an idealistic and passionate journalist who is determined to uncover the truth about the situation in Vietnam, regardless of the risk it poses to him.

Together, Lin, Cam Nu, and Kwok navigate the dangerous waters of Vietnam, facing arrests, interrogations, and violence. They become embroiled in a conflict between the Vietnamese government and the boat people and must choose between protecting their own safety and continuing to document the truth.

Boat People is a powerful and moving film that portrays the inhumanity of war and the devastation it leaves behind. The film is beautifully shot, with breathtaking scenery that contrasts sharply with the harsh reality of the characters’ lives. The actors give incredibly convincing and emotional performances, particularly Cora Miao, who plays Cam Nu, and Season Ma who plays the boat people leader, Brothel.

The film is not just a political indictment of the communist government of Vietnam, but also a meditation on the role of journalists in revealing the truth to the world. It raises important questions about the limits of journalistic ethics and the responsibility of journalists to tell the truth, no matter the cost.

Boat People is a film that demands to be seen, particularly in today’s political climate where the role of journalists is being severely challenged. It is a powerful reminder of the responsibility of journalists to uncover the truth and the cost that sometimes comes with it. The film also sheds a light on the plight of refugees, a topic that is as relevant today as it was in 1982 when the film was released.

In conclusion, Boat People is a gripping and powerful film that will evoke important emotions in the viewer. It is a film that raises important questions about the limits of journalistic ethics and the responsibility of journalists to tell the truth. The film is a poignant reminder of the responsibility of the international community towards refugees and the appalling costs they have to pay while searching for a better life. The film carries a powerful message that remains relevant in today's world.

Boat People
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 46 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (1,650)