It’s May, so it must be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. You can tell it’s May with the attention mainstream media is placing on all things regarding this ethnic group.
In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, PBS is presenting six compelling documentaries on public television this May through the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).
Three of these films, Finding Kukan, Random Acts of Legacy and Who is Arthur Chu? will premiere on season 6 of America ReFramed, an award-winning documentary series on public television.
Resistance at Tule Lake and The Chinese Exclusion Act will screen on PBS and WORLD Channel. The CAAM-produced Pacific Gateway: Angel Island VR will air digitally on PBS’s American Experience. Check your local listings for exact air dates and times.
These enlightening and inspiring films spotlight the resilience of Asian Americans and the role of Asian Americans in shaping U.S. history.
Viewers are encouraged to share your thoughts using #MyAPALife. All of the films will stream online for a limited time following their respective premiere date.
Learn more about these films on the CAAMFest blog.
These films are supported or co-produced by CAAM, with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
RESISTANCE AT TULE LAKE directed by Konrad Aderer
Broadcast date: May 6, 2018 on WORLD Channel
A minority group is unjustly persecuted amidst racially-charged scapegoating by politicians. That’s the eerily relevant backdrop for RESISTANCE AT TULE LAKE, Konrad Aderer’s examination of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans, which couldn’t come at a more important moment.
FINDING KUKAN directed by Robin Lung
Broadcast date: May 8th on WORLD Channel
Streaming online: May 9, 2018 – June 7, 2018
FINDING KUKAN documents filmmaker Robin Lung’s 7-year journey to piece together the incredible story behind the pioneering mediamaker Li Ling-Ai, the co-producer for the 1941 documentary film, KUKAN. Despite having no Hollywood or government backing, KUKAN was screened at the White House for President Roosevelt before becoming the first of two documentary features ever given an Academy® Award in 1942.
RANDOM ACTS OF LEGACY directed by Ali Kazimi
Broadcast: May 15, 2018 on WORLD Channel
Streaming: May 16, 2018 – May 14, 2021
From one of the earliest known home movies, Ali Kazimi weaves a visually rich narrative of a wealthy Chinese American family from the Depression era. Combined with family accounts and other commentators, the film offers an intimate and radically different perspective on the Chinese American community in Chicago with a surprising feminist twist.
WHO IS ARTHUR CHU? directed by Yu Gu and Scott Drucker
Broadcast: May 22, 2018 on WORLD Channel
Streaming: May 23, 2018 – June 21, 2018
WHO IS ARTHUR CHU? follows 11-time Jeopardy! winner Arthur Chu, who won almost $300,000 by using an unconventional strategy on the game show. The national attention led this insurance analyst to amass tens of thousands of fans and haters on Twitter. Arthur plans to put his 15 minutes of TV fame to good use, and launches a career as both a speaker and writer. By dissecting topics such as racism and sexism particularly in “nerd culture,” his posture shatters the “model” Asian American stereotype.
PACIFIC GATEWAY: ANGEL ISLAND VR directed by Felicia Lowe and co-produced by CAAM
Broadcast: May 28, 2018 on American Experience’s Facebook live stream
Journey across the bay to the Angel Island Immigration Station in this fully immersive virtual reality experience, exploring the poignant stories carved into the walls of the “Ellis Island of the West.” In her first foray into this new digital medium, veteran filmmaker Felicia Lowe uses the historic Angel Island Immigration Station to shine light on a dark part of America’s past.
THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT directed by Li-Shin Yu and Ric Burns and co-produced by CAAM
Broadcast – May 29, 2018 as a Special Presentation of the PBS series American Experience
THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT, a two-hour film for national broadcast on PBS, will explore in riveting detail this little known, yet deeply resonant and revealing episode in American history – one that sheds enormous light on key aspects of the history of American civil liberties, immigration, and culture – during one of the most formative periods of U.S. history.
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