On TV: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month - May 2018

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Director Robin Lung (America ReFramed: Finding Kukan) (Credit: Michelle Scott)

KQED proudly celebrates the diversity of our community with a special Asian Pacific American Heritage Month programming lineup in May on KQED Public Television.

Premiere dates are listed below. Please click on each program for additional airdates and information.


Wednesday, 5/2
11pm Counting from Infinity: Yitang Zhang and the Twin Prime Conjecture
This film is a snapshot of a great moment in mathematical history — the moment when Yitang “Tom” Zhang made an important breakthrough in Number Theory by solving the Twin Prime Conjecture.

Sunday, 5/6
6pm Family Ingredients: Hawaii Poi
Join host Ed Kenney as he traces the most famous Hawaiian dish that is also the most misunderstood — poi.

Sunday, 5/13
6pm Family Ingredients: Okinawa Soki Soba
Learn about Okinawan soba — not to be confused with Japanese soba — and how it embodies the spirit of the Okinawan people and the complex history of their islands.


Sunday, 5/20
6pm Family Ingredients: Tahiti Poisson Cru
Meet a Polynesian seafarer on a worldwide voyage with a stop at his ancestral home — a family moment to remember and an unforgettable dish.

Tuesday, 5/22
7pm Off the Menu: Asian America
Go into the kitchens, temples and farms of Asian Pacific America to explore how the bond with food reflects an evolving community.

Sunday, 5/27
6pm Family Ingredients: California-Pipi Kaula
Trace the origins of the Hawaiian cowboy lifestyle to the adobes of California, and see how the tradition of pip kaula is still enjoyed today.     

Tuesday, 5/29
7pm Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm
Review a transitional year in the life of Central California farmer and slow food advocate David “Mas” Masumoto as his daughter returns to the family farm.


The Lim Family (American Experience) (Courtesy of the Lim Tong Family Archives)

8pm The Chinese Exclusion Act: American Experience (NEW)
Examine the origin, history and impact of the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here ever to become U.S. citizens.


Friday, 5/4
3pm Pacific Heartbeat Poi E: The Story of Our Song (NEW)
Witness the true story of a song that saved a town, changed lives and gave pride to a community — and the man who brought that song to life.

Frank Wong (Forever Chinatown) (Courtesy of James Q. Chan)

Sunday, 5/6
7pm Forever Chinatown: A Local USA/Truly CA Special
This documentary presents the story of self-taught, 81-year-old artist Frank Wong who has spent the past four decades building romantic, extraordinarily detailed miniature models of the San Francisco Chinatown rooms of his youth.

Friday, 5/11
3pm Pacific Heartbeat: Making Good Men (NEW)
What would you say if you came face to face with your childhood bully as an adult? In this film, two high-profile men, a former All Blacks rugby player and a Hollywood actor, reveal their unforgettable account of bullying with unprecedented honesty.

Friday, 5/25
3pm Pacific Heartbeat: Being Bruno Banani (NEW)
Being Bruno Banani tells the unique story of the first and only Tongan luger who managed to qualify in an amazingly short amount of time for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.


Tuesday, 5/1
4pm POV Web Junkie
Follow the military-style rehab program treatment of three Chinese teenagers, obsessive gamers who prefer the virtual world to the real one.

5pm America ReFramed: Unbroken Glass
Uncovering a silenced family history of mental illness, Dinesh Sabu sets out on a journey across the United States and India to piece together their story.

6pm I Am
Having lost the opportunity to come out to her own mother, an Indian lesbian filmmaker — now living in the U.S. — travels across India to meet with parents of other gay and lesbian South Asians.

Wednesday, 5/2
4pm Stories in Thread
This film focuses on focuses on Hmong Pa Dau aka Story Cloths — handmade textiles that are integral to what it means to be Hmong in America.  

Friday, 5/4
4pm Story of China: Ancestors/Silk Roads and China Ships
Explore China's early history with host Michael Wood as he joins a million people at a festival devoted to ancient gods.

Sunday, 5/6
4pm Resistance at Tule Lake (NEW)
This film is Konrad Aderer's examination of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans and focuses on Tule Lake, the notorious camp where Japanese Americans who were labeled "disloyal" were held.

7pm Doc World: Finding Samuel Lowe
Retired NBC Universal executive Paula Williams Madison and her family travel to China to visit their family’s ancestral village, culminating in an emotional and unforgettable family reunion with 300 of their grandfather’s Chinese descendants.

Monday, 5/7
3pm Local USA: Ku Kanaka (NEW)
This half hour documentary explores the transformation of the late Kanalu Young from an angry 15-year-old who becomes quadriplegic to a leader of his Native Hawaiian people.

4pm Roadtrip Nation: Don’t Forget Where You Came From
Meet road-trippers Tehani, Traven and Keakealani, three college students interested in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM). Their journey begins on the big island of Hawaii, where they meet the scientist who saved Hawaii’s papayas.

4:30pm Roadtrip Nation: Cross the Ocean, Build Bridges
Tehani, Traven and Keakealani visit the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to explore an active volcano zone, then hop over to Maui to tour the NOAA Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Tuesday, 5/8
3pm POV Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case
This film explores how the government’s attempts to silence Chinese artist Ai Weiwei have backfired and turned him into an irrepressible voice for free speech and human rights around the globe.

4pm POV: My Love, Don’t Cross That River
Two spouses who’ve shared a home for 76 years must now face the reality of their aging romance.

Director Robin Lung with portrait of Li Ling-Ai (America ReFramed) (Courtesy of Michelle Scott)

5pm America ReFramed: Finding Kukan (NEW)
Filmmaker Robin Lung documents her seven-year journey to uncover the efforts of Li Ling-Ai, the visionary but uncredited producer of Kukan.

Yamamoto Toji and Chi-chan tending to cooked saké rice. (POV) ( Courtesy of Erick Shirai)

Wednesday, 5/9
3pm POV: The Birth of Sake
Go behind the scenes at Japan's Yoshida Brewery, where a brotherhood of artisans spends six months in nearly monastic isolation as they follow an age-old process to create sake.

Friday, 5/11
4pm Story of China: Golden Age/The Ming
See the stunning achievements of two of China's most brilliant dynasties: the Song, creators of a Chinese Renaissance, and the Ming, builders of the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.

Tyrus Wong painting in his studio. (Courtesy of the Tyrus Wong family)

Saturday, 5/12
5pm Tyrus Wong: American Masters
Discover the art, life and enduring impact of Tyrus Wong, the renowned Chinese-American painter behind Bambi.

Sunday, 5/13
7pm Doc World: The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World/Japan: A Story of Love and Hate
West Lake Restaurant, a microcosm of modern China, reveals stories showing that not every individual benefits from China's economic boom. Japan: A Story of Love and Hate is about survival in the world's second richest economy.

Monday, 5/14
4pm Roadtrip Nation: Know Where Home Is
The road-trippers reach Oahu, where they take a once-in-a-lifetime trip up Mount Ka'ala — the island's highest mountain — and visit a private U.S. Army nature reserve at the peak.

4:30pm Roadtrip Nation: You Can Guide Your Future
The trip across Hawaii comes to a close, but not before the team makes some major final breakthroughs.

Tuesday, 5/15
4pm Nothing Left to Lose
This documentary tells the story of approximately 100 Vietnamese refugees who have each lived in hiding for 25 years hoping to one day reclaim the dignity of being recognized as a person.

5pm America ReFramed: Random Acts of Legacy (NEW)
Filmmaker and director Ali Kazimi stumbles upon rare film footage from 1936 to 1951, offering a little-seen glimpse into how a Chinese family embraced American customs.

6pm Giap's Last Day at the Ironing Board Factory
An aspiring filmmaker documents his mother’s final day of work at America's last ironing board factory.

6:30pm Mr. Tanimoto’s Journey (NEW)
This is the story of Jim Tanimoto, born in in California and the last living member of a group of men known as Block 42, who bravely protested the loss of their constitutional rights when imprisoned in Japanese internment camps after Pearl Harbor.

Wednesday, 5/16
4pm Passing Poston: An American Story
This documentary recounts the moving and haunting stories of four former detainees from the Poston Relocation Center in Arizona, which housed more than 18,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans between 1942 and 1945.

5pm Relocation, Arkansas: Aftermath of Incarceration
In 1942, nearly 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were forced into prisons because they looked like the enemy. Two of those prison camps were in Arkansas, a land of deep racial divide. This film chronicles the trauma of this incarceration experience and how it’s been passed down through multiple generations.

6pm War for Guam
This documentary is about WWII and its enduring legacy in Guam, a U.S. territory since 1898.

Friday 5/18
4pm Story of China: The Last Empire/The Age of Revolution
Journey back in time to see the splendor of the last Chinese dynasty, the Qing.

Sunday, 5/20
4pm Quietest Place on Earth
This program explores Maui's geological and spiritual birthplace.

6pm India – Nature’s Wonderland #101
Journey through India to discover its rich culture and rare wildlife, from a ritual tiger dance to India’s only ape — the hoolock gibbon.

7pm Doc World: Tashi’s Turbine
Meet Tashi Bista, who dreams of installing a makeshift wind turbine in Namdok, a remote village nestled high amongst the Himalayas of Nepal.

Monday, 5/21
5pm Pacific Heartbeat: Ever the Land
Ever The Land explores the sublime bond between the Ngai Tuhoe people and their land.

Tuesday, 5/22
4pm Lost Child: Sayon’s Journey
This program explores the Cambodian genocide (1975-1979) and its lasting impact through the eyes of a former Khmer Rouge child soldier.

5pm America ReFramed: Who Is Arthur Chu? (NEW)
This documentary follows 11-time Jeopardy! winner Arthur Chu, who won almost $300,000 and attempted to put his 15 minutes of TV fame to good use by addressing topics such as racism and sexism in gaming culture.

Wednesday, 5/23
3pm Independent Lens: I Am Another You
Join Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang and Dylan, a charismatic young homeless drifter who left a comfortable home and loving family, in a mysterious cross-cultural road trip.

Presenter, Freida Pinto (India - Nature's Wonderland) (Courtesy of Ben Southwell/BBC)

Sunday, 5/27
6pm India Nature’s Wonderland #102
Continue exploring India and meet a man who spent 30 years planting his own rainforest.

7pm Doc World: Out Run
This film provides a unique look into the challenges LGBT people face as they transition into the mainstream and fight for dignity, legitimacy and acceptance across the globe.

Monday, 5/28
3pm Nobody Dies: A Film About a Musician, Her Mom and Vietnam
SF-based indie singer-songwriter Thao Nguyen journeys to Vietnam for the first time and brings her mother, who hasn't been back since the fall of Saigon.

5pm Pacific Heartbeat Dream Big: Nankuli at the Fringe
Learn how a group who hailed from what was once considered the “worst school” in Hawaii came to proudly represent the United States in world’s largest art festival.

Tuesday, 5/29
5pm America ReFramed Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story
This program paints an intimate portrait of Eddy Zheng — the prisoner, the immigrant, the son and the activist — on his journey to freedom, rehabilitation and redemption.

6pm Chinese Couplets
An intimate family story that reveals the impact of America's Chinese Exclusion Acts on one family, over two centuries in three countries on four generations of women.

Wednesday, 5/30
3pm Of Race and Reconciliation
This program chronicles the Chinese experience in America around the year 1885, when the Chinese residents of Tacoma were forcefully expelled from the city.

KQED 9 is available over the air on DT9.1, 54.2 and 25.1 and via most cable systems on Channel 9. It is on XFINITY cable from Comcast (Channels 9 SD and 709 HD) and on Wave (Channels 9 SD and 164 HD). It can also be found on DIRECTV and DISH satellite systems (Channels 9 SD and HD).

KQED Plus is available over the air on Channels 54, DT54.1, 9.2 and 25.2, and via many cable and satellite systems on either channel 10 or 54. It is on XFINITY cable from Comcast (Channels 10 SD, and 710 HD) and on DIRECTV (Channel 54 SD and HD) and DISH (Channel 54, SD only) satellite systems.

This schedule also lists programs airing on KQED World (XFINITY 190, Channel 9.3 & 54.5).