“Blood Road” Film Comes to Leadville August 9
It’s official! Leadville Today, in cooperation with Red Bull Media House and Rebecca Rusch Relations, is pleased to announce the presentation of the film Blood Road. The stage is set for Wednesday, Aug. 9 when the Hangar One building at the Leadville airport will be transformed into an old-school movie theater for the exclusive, Leadville screening of this very meaningful movie. If you’re not a fan of Rusch’s yet, you will be after seeing this documentary.
For readers unfamiliar with her story, Rebecca Rusch is affectionately known as “The Queen of Pain,” and to Leadville race fans and residents, the 4x Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Champion (2009-2012). She is among the greatest female ultra-endurance mountain bikers in the world. And while she’s used to pushing her body to its 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 Rusch to begin a fresh relationship with the father she lost so long ago. Joined by Vietnamese competitive biking champion Huyen Nguyen, Rusch travels through the dense jungles of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. While Nguyen helps Rusch 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 tests 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.
The 96-minute film exceeds the average cycling film on so many levels, the least of which being the painful reminders of the scars, on the land and it’s people, left behind long after the bombing has stopped. It’s a mature subject matter but one that will hopefully have viewers leaving with a desire to help at the local level and beyond.
The Leadville Today Screening of Blood Road will be a fundraiser for the Lake County Veterans Memorial located in Leadville’s Evergreen Cemetery. Rebecca’s father’s name – Stephen Rusch – was added to the granite memorial in 2016 in honor of his service and ultimate sacrifice to the country.
Part of the proceeds raised from the Leadville screening will also go to the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a nonprofit that brings peace and safety to those who have lived in fear for far too long, by finding every unexploded landmine and bomb before a child does.
This screening is considered a stream-lined event. While movie-goers will NOT find popcorn and fountain drinks for sale, they are welcome to bring their own refreshments in a pack-it-in, pack-it-out style. The seating is limited and RSVP is required through the official page, hosted by Red Bull Media House. It’s also important to note that seating will be picnic style with movie-goers encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets.
The Leadville Today Screening of Blood Road is free and open to the public with an RSVP confirmation. However, a suggested donation of $20 will benefit the aforementioned charities. The airport gates will open at 7 p.m., with the Blood Road film starting at 8 p.m.
Leadville Today and its parent company The Great Pumpkin, LLC, a digital media company located in Leadville, has partnered locally with the Lake County Veterans Memorial, Lake County Public Works and the Leadville/Lake County Airport in cooperation with the Lake County Board of Commissioners.