Independent Lens' "The Donut King" airs Monday, May 29 at 10pm on KQED 9.
KQED is proud to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month starting in May with a special TV programming lineup. Premiere dates are listed below.
Tues, 5/2 10pm Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day in March Explore the fight against Asian American hate following the March 2021 mass shootings at three spas in Atlanta. Examine how this critical moment of racial reckoning sheds light on the struggles, triumphs and achievements of AAPI communities.
11pm Asian Americans #101: Breaking Ground See how new immigrants from China, India, Japan, the Philippines and beyond, despite anti-Asian laws, still manage to build railroads, dazzle on the silver screen and take their fight for equality to the U.S.
Sat, 5/6 9:30am Taste of Malaysia with Martin Yan #103: Cultural Mosaic Kuala Lumpur is a dynamic modern Asian capital with a rich food history. In this episode Martin explores the capital tracing its food history back to its humble kampung (village) origin. Along this fascinating journey he also explores Chinese and Indian influences in Malaysian cuisine, showcasing classical dishes such as Nasi lemak, Bak kut the and Mie goreng.
10am Lucky Chow #504: Drinking Culture ‘Drinking Culture’ introduces trendsetters in the world of spirits and libations. We meet childhood friends who opened a bar as an homage to their Indian upbringing, the founders of a microbrewery incorporating local Hawaiian flavors, a rum company preserving sugar cane farming and traditional rum agricole, and a chef combining a dynamic bar program with her James Beard Award winning cooking.
Sun, 5/7 11am Simply Ming #1807: Crab Cakes This week on Simply Ming, Chef Tsai is going big on the crab. He starts off with delicious Crab Cakes with a Lemon Aioli, and then follows that up with a vegetarian version-GF “Crab” Cakes with Lemon Aioli and Pineapple Smash.
6pm Thousand Pebbles on the Ground (NEW) Roger is a Chinese-American medical worker facing rising anti-Asian sentiment, he’s grieving the loss of his father, but he loves to perform and make people laugh.
6:30pm Vanishing Chinatown: The World of May’s Photo At a time of public outrage over anti-Asian hate crimes, this new documentary shines a light on everyday life in San Francisco’s Chinatown a century ago. Hundreds of photographs, serendipitously rescued from a Chinatown dumpster, chronicle the lives of an immigrant community from an insider’s perspective. Through images from the early to mid-1900s, they reveal the artistry of a preeminent photographer of the time, preserving community life from civic parades to small businesses to fantastic Cantonese opera scenes.
Tues, 5/9 7:30pm Family Ingredients #202: Philippines – Adobo Travel with Sheldon Simeon, a Top Chef “Fan Favorite,” as he makes his first trip to the Philippines. Born and raised in the small town of Hilo, Hawai’i, Simeon credits his dad for his love of Filipino cuisine.
9pm Meet and Eat at Lee’s Garden (NEW) Filmmaker Day’s Lee recalls memories of her family’s restaurant Lee’s Garden, one of the first Chinese restaurants to open outside of Montreal’s Chinatown in the 1950s. As Chinese restaurants and the food they serve continue to evolve, it is these early restaurants and their cuisine that captured the hearts and memories of people everywhere. Through interviews with former customers and restaurant owners, this documentary explores how these early restaurants played an important role in the social history of Chinese and Jewish communities.
11pm Asian Americans #102: A Question of Loyalty Meet the first generation of U.S.-born Asian Americans, whose loyalties are tested during WWII.
Sat, 5/13 9:30am Taste of Malaysia with Martin Yan #104: Loyal Friends in Sitiawan Many of today’s “who’s who” in Malaysia grew up in small, humble towns such as Sitiawan. Martin spends a day with a network of old friends in their hometown, visiting with a local baker and a noodle maker discussing their strong community spirit, and getting invited to the famous fish head banquet.
Sun, 5/14 11am Simply Ming #1808: Sausage and Peppers On this episode of Simply Ming, Chef Tsai and Henry are paying homage to Boston, as they cook Sausage and Peppers Fenway Style, and a veggie version of this dish, Vegan Sausage and Peppers Bings. To get things started Ming stirs up a cocktail – A Thai Basil-Lemon Smash with bourbon and a refreshing Thai Basil Lemonade.
Tues, 5/16 9pm American Masters #3407: Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV (NEW) See the world through the eyes of Nam June Paik, the father of video art and coiner of the term “electronic superhighway.” Experience the acclaimed artist’s creative evolution, as Academy Award nominee Steven Yeun reads from Paik’s own writings.
11pm Asian Americans #103: Good Americans Learn how Asian Americans are simultaneously heralded as a model minority and targeted as the perpetual foreigner during the Cold War. It was also a time of bold ambition, as Asian Americans aspire to national political office.
Sat, 5/20 9:30am Taste of Malaysia with Martin Yan #105: Eight Million Cups of Tea Martin travels to the scenic Cameron Highlands for farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, a colonial history lesson and the best cup of tea in Malaysia. At Boh Tea Plantation and the famous Smokehouse Hotel, Martin learns about tea cultivation, the contribution of Indian workers and the region’s connections to Malaysia’s colonial past. For a closer nature encounter, he overnights at a unique ‘homestay’ – an ecological Tree House.
6pm Registry This film breaks open the hidden history of the US Army’s Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II – a story made possible because of a few aging Japanese American Veterans with a little internet savvy and a lot of determination.
10:30pm Tyrus Wong: American Masters Discover the art, life and enduring impact of Tyrus Wong, the renowned Chinese-American painter behind Bambi and Rebel Without a Cause, via new and never-before-seen interviews, movie clips and art. Wong had also once exhibited with Picasso and Matisse.
Mon, 5/22 10pm Fanny: The Right to Rock (NEW) In 1960s Sacramento, two Filipina American sisters and other teenage girls started a band. Little did they know their garage band would evolve into the legendary rock group Fanny, the first all-women band to release an LP with a major record label. Despite their critically-acclaimed albums and tours with famed bands, Fanny’s groundbreaking impact was written out of history, until bandmates reunite 50 years later with a new record deal. With archival footage intercut with releasing a new LP, the film includes interviews with many music icons, including Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, Bonnie Raitt, The Go-Go’s Kathy Valentine, and David Bowie. Fighting early barriers of race, gender and sexuality in the music industry, and later ageism, the incredible women of Fanny are ready to claim their place in the halls of rock ‘n’ roll fame.
Tues, 5/23 11pm Asian Americans #104: Generation Rising Follow a young generation’s fight for equality in the fields, on campuses and in the culture, claiming a new identity: Asian Americans. New immigrants and war refugees expand the population and definition of Asian America.
Sun, 5/28 5pm Bloodline Bloodline is an intimate profile of Vietnamese-American chef Tu David Phu and the evolution of his culinary aesthetic – borne from a bloodline that traces back through childhood and his family’s unspoken history of war. From the son of refugees to a professional chef, Tu’s acclaimed culinary creations are heralded as the next wave of Asian fusion. The documentary features illuminating conversations between Tu and his parents on their initial reservations about his career path and how their Vietnam War experiences influenced Tu’s upbringing and cooking style. Bloodline is also an exploration of how in placing a premium on pedigree, the culinary industry often disregards the rich flavors and practices falling outside those parameters.
Mon, 5/29 10pm Independent Lens #2214: The Donut King Hear the incredible story of Ted Ngoy. After fleeing Cambodia for the United States, he built a multi-million-dollar fried pastry empire, Christy’s Doughnuts, and began living his American Dream. But a great rise often comes with a great fall.
11:30pm POV Shorts #303: In the Absence A South Korean community is torn apart by a ferry disaster which claimed the lives of hundreds of children. When government incompetence is revealed as the main cause, the victims’ families seek justice.
Tues, 5/30 11pm Asian Americans #105: Breaking Through Revisit the turn of the millennium, when Asian Americans are empowered by growing numbers and rising influence but face a reckoning of what it means to be an American in an increasingly polarized society.
Tues, 5/2 5:30pm Pacific Heartbeat #1005: American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai’i ‘American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai’i’ tells the stories of three kumu hula (master instructors) who direct hula schools in California. The film explores the challenges they face trying to perpetuate hula, from the very traditional to contemporary, as it evolves on distant shores. Their stories serve as a reminder of the power of tradition and creating a home away from home.
Fri, 5/5 12pm Lucky Chow #205: The New Indian A new generation of chefs and entrepreneurs is bringing the amazing cooking of India to a broad American audience. Danielle interviews a former financier who offers a light, healthy take on Indian classics at his fast-casual start-up Inday; the adventurous restaurateurs behind Babu Ji, where meticulous preparations and a Bollywood vibe have led to breakout success; and an engineer who got her start in the food business selling homemade chai by bicycle in the hills of San Francisco.
Sat, 5/6 10am Cycle Around Japan Highlights #451 Cycle Around Japan Highlights offers a way to discover Japan by bicycle, where viewers vicariously experience breath-taking adventures and see a side of Japan they won’t find in the guidebooks. Journeys include a ride through the northern land of Akita and a challenging ride up a peak in Nagano Prefecture, which provides breathtaking views of the Japan Alps mountain pass. Along the way, riders take part in traditions such as the harvesting of wasabi plants and the making of baskets from wild bamboo. In every location, viewers are treated to the local culture, history, food and traditions that makes cycling around Japan such a unique journey.
10:30 Cycle Around Japan Highlights #452 Cycle Around Japan Highlights offers a way to discover Japan by bicycle, where viewers vicariously experience breath-taking adventures and see a side of Japan they won’t find in the guidebooks. Journeys include a ride through the northern land of Akita and a challenging ride up a peak in Nagano Prefecture, which provides breathtaking views of the Japan Alps mountain pass. Along the way, riders take part in traditions such as the harvesting of wasabi plants and the making of baskets from wild bamboo. In every location, viewers are treated to the local culture, history, food and traditions that makes cycling around Japan such a unique journey.
Sun, 5/7 9:30am Lucky Chow #505: Chasing the Dream Today’s trendsetting Asian restauranteurs are delighting diners with traditional Malay breakfast (Kopitiam), the unique Thai-Chinese cuisine of Phuket (Wan Wan), reimagined temaki (Nami Nori), luxe Michelin-starred contemporary Korean BBQ (Cote), and reimagined South Indian cuisine (Unapologetic Foods). Learn why Asian food has never been more exciting or inventive.
5:30pm American Masters #3501: Waterman – Duke: Ambassador of Aloha Narrated by Jason Momoa, this episode will discover the inspiring story and considerable impact of five-time Olympic medalist Duke Kahanamoku. He shattered swimming records and globalized surfing while overcoming racism in a lifetime of personal challenges.
Tues, 5/9 5:30pm Pacific Heartbeat #1006: Na Kamalei: The Men of Hula The role of male hula dancers has long been overshadowed by Western concepts of gender and sexuality. ‘Na Kamalei: The Men of Hula’ follows a group of male dancers as they prepare to compete in the largest hula competition in the world, the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. Through the lens of dance, this film explores the meaning of Hawaiian pride and the role of men in Hawaiian culture.
Wed, 5/10 5:30pm Unsettled History: America, China, and the Doolittle Tokyo Raid Unsettled History: America, China And The Doolittle Tokyo Raid examines a key moment in American/Chinese history from the perspectives of the children of both the “Doolittle Raiders” and the Chinese villagers who aided in their rescue. In doing so, the film explores how a shared event can be remembered in different ways and what lessons this history may hold for today.
Thurs, 5/11 11pm And Then They Came For Us And Then They Came for Us shows the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII, one of the worst violations of constitutional rights in American history, and US government lies about threats of espionage. Featuring actor George Takei, and many others who were incarcerated, the film reveals the silence that surrounded the incarceration and the importance of speaking up. The documentary draws parallels to previous Muslim travel bans, which relied on similar uncorroborated claims of threats to national security. This film is a cautionary tale for dark times.
Fri, 5/12 12pm Lucky Chow #206: Taiwan’s True Flavors Danielle gets back to her roots in an episode devoted to the distinctive, rustic cuisine of Taiwan. With Cathy Erway, author of The Food of Taiwan, she hits a Chinatown market and then makes the island’s most famous dish, beef noodle soup. At Taiwan Bear House, started by homesick young expats, Danielle tries a New York take on the box lunches known as biandang. And in California’s Orange County, she pays a visit to America’s closest counterpart to a classic Taiwanese night market.
Sat, 5/13 10am Cycle Around Japan Highlights #453 Cycle Around Japan Highlights offers a way to discover Japan by bicycle, where viewers vicariously experience breath-taking adventures and see a side of Japan they won’t find in the guidebooks. Journeys include a ride through the northern land of Akita and a challenging ride up a peak in Nagano Prefecture, which provides breathtaking views of the Japan Alps mountain pass. Along the way, riders take part in traditions such as the harvesting of wasabi plants and the making of baskets from wild bamboo. In every location, viewers are treated to the local culture, history, food and traditions that makes cycling around Japan such a unique journey.
10:30am Cycle Around Japan Highlights #454 Cycle Around Japan Highlights offers a way to discover Japan by bicycle, where viewers vicariously experience breath-taking adventures and see a side of Japan they won’t find in the guidebooks. Journeys include a ride through the northern land of Akita and a challenging ride up a peak in Nagano Prefecture, which provides breathtaking views of the Japan Alps mountain pass. Along the way, riders take part in traditions such as the harvesting of wasabi plants and the making of baskets from wild bamboo. In every location, viewers are treated to the local culture, history, food and traditions that makes cycling around Japan such a unique journey.
1:30pm Confucius Was A Foodie #201 In Confucius Was A Foodie, celebrity chef and former Food Network host Christine Cushing takes viewers on a voyage, uncovering the history of Chinese culinary culture and its influence on food around the world. In this episode, Christine learns firsthand the very challenging ‘how to’ of harvesting sea salt in Thailand’s dramatically beautiful salt fields. Cushing visits the area’s most unusual market that is regularly disrupted by the Maeklong Railway going right through its center! She cooks alongside chefs preserving traditional Chinese cuisine in Bangkok, and at Singapore’s oldest Chinese restaurant, Spring Court, Christine discovers Singapore Chinese cuisine and meets with culinary legend; Madam Soon.
Sun, 5/14 9:30am Lucky Chow #506: Paradise on a Plate On a trip to Oahu, we harvest fruit with the Matsuda family of Kahuka Farms; chef Mark Noguchi prepares an epic potluck dinner; and chefs Michelle and Wade Ueoki get personal when it comes to Hawaiian food while their mentor, chef Alan Wong, creates a tuna poke. We also meet Brooks Takenaka who runs a fish auction that helps regulate, market, and preserve Honolulu’s fishing industry.
4pm Yoshiki: Live at Carnegie Hall Japanese composer, classically-trained pianist, rock drummer, and leader of the rock group X Japan, Yoshiki Hayashi has sold more than 50 million records worldwide. Yoshiki: Live At Carnegie Hall presents footage from his sold-out New York concerts in January 2017. Yoshiki performs “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a theme to celebrate the Emperor of Japan.
Tues, 5/16 5:30pm Pacific Heartbeat #1101: High Tide, Don’t Hide In the race for existence, New Zealand teenagers discover activism, authority and awareness make for a steep learning curve. Determined to provoke real action, they join the global School Strike for Climate. But planning a movement and building momentum are the easy parts as they face political indifference, their own white privilege, and the struggle to be heard.
Wed, 5/17 5:30pm Ito Sisters: An American Story Explore the lives of three Nisei sisters from the Sacramento Delta, from their childhood on a farm in the Delta to their internment during WWII and beyond.
Fri, 5/19 12pm Lucky Chow #207: Asian Food, American Dreams Asian cuisine is increasingly driving the growth of the American food industry. Danielle talks to three Asian-American entrepreneurs about their success: Tim Wildin, the Chipotle executive whose Thai aunties’ recipes contribute to the menu at Shophouse; Lynda Trang Dai, the queen of banh mi sandwiches in Orange County’s Little Saigon; and Charles Phan, the ground-breaking chef whose Slanted Door was named best restaurant in the country.
4:30pm India – Nature’s Wonderland #101 Join a journey through India to discover its rich culture and rare wildlife. Experience a ritual tiger dance and see lions, elephants and India’s only ape — the hoolock gibbon. After, climb to the Himalayas where the Ganges River begins.
Sat, 5/20 10am Cycle Around Japan Highlights #455 Cycle Around Japan Highlights offers a way to discover Japan by bicycle, where viewers vicariously experience breath-taking adventures and see a side of Japan they won’t find in the guidebooks. Journeys include a ride through the northern land of Akita and a challenging ride up a peak in Nagano Prefecture, which provides breathtaking views of the Japan Alps mountain pass. Along the way, riders take part in traditions such as the harvesting of wasabi plants and the making of baskets from wild bamboo. In every location, viewers are treated to the local culture, history, food and traditions that makes cycling around Japan such a unique journey.
10:30am Cycle Around Japan Highlights #456 Cycle Around Japan Highlights offers a way to discover Japan by bicycle, where viewers vicariously experience breath-taking adventures and see a side of Japan they won’t find in the guidebooks. Journeys include a ride through the northern land of Akita and a challenging ride up a peak in Nagano Prefecture, which provides breathtaking views of the Japan Alps mountain pass. Along the way, riders take part in traditions such as the harvesting of wasabi plants and the making of baskets from wild bamboo. In every location, viewers are treated to the local culture, history, food and traditions that makes cycling around Japan such a unique journey.
1:30pm Confucius Was A Foodie #202 In Confucius Was A Foodie, celebrity chef and former Food Network host Christine Cushing takes viewers on a voyage, uncovering the history of Chinese culinary culture and its influence on food around the world. In this episode, Christine brings along celebrity chef Anna Olson as they climb to the mountain tea farms of Taiwan and learn the ropes of tea wrangling. In Hong Kong, with tea expert Vivian Mak, Christine is taken through every step of the brewing process as well as to visit some of the oldest tea merchants in the city. Chef Christine and her guests put together the story of tea; more than just a ceremony, it is an art and a science, a celebratory drink, and even a medicine!
11pm Unconditional: Healing Hidden Wounds Unconditional: Healing Hidden Wounds is a revealing documentary about the home healthcare crises of mental wellness. Mental health issues challenge some 50 million family caregivers each year. Filmed over seven years, the cinema verite film follows three families as they discover the impacts, stresses and rewards of caregiving for their loved ones living with disabilities.
Tues, 5/23 5:30pm Pacific Heartbeat #1102: James & Isey Genuine New Zealand treasures Isey and her son James invite viewers into their lives in the week leading up to Isey’s 100th birthday and its shaping up to be quite the party. The episode captures a Northland celebration of life and aroha (love) like no other.
Wed, 5/24 5:30pm Shinmachi: Stronger Than A Tsunami Shinmachi: Stronger Than A Tsunami is an hour-long documentary that shares the resilience of a unique Japanese community in Hilo, Hawaii. Their stories bring to life the once-thriving small business district founded by Japanese immigrant plantation laborers who made the bold decision to establish their economic independence from the sugar industry.
Fri, 5/26 12pm Lucky Chow #301: Food As Cultural Collision This episode explores how cultures collide when trends meet traditions: Mister Softee taken over by the Chinese government; Brooklyn Brewery using Japanese hops from Jeju Island; the Fung Bros visit a New Yorker reinventing the Shanghainese soup dumpling.
4:30pm India – Nature’s Wonderland #102 Continue exploring India and meet a man who spent 30 years planting his own rainforest. On the way, encounter demoiselle cranes, tahr goats, one-horned rhinos, the tiny pika and lion-tailed macaques. Witness the mass hatching of olive ridley turtles.
Tues, 5/30 5:30pm Pacific Heartbeat #1103: Loimata, The Sweetest Tears Featuring the redemptive tale of waka builder and captain Lilo Ema Siope’s final years, ‘Loimata, The Sweetest Tears’ is a chronicle of journeys – journeys of migration, spirituality, voyaging, healing and coming home. Confronting intergenerational trauma head on, the Siope family returns to their homeland of Samoa.
Wed, 5/31 5:30pm Before They Take Us Away At the start of World War II, as the US Government prepared to forcibly remove and incarcerate all Japanese Americans living on the West Coast, a small number of Japanese Americans took their fate in their own hands and fled the coast. Before They Take Us Away is the first documentary to chronicle the untold stories of the “self-evacuees” who spent the war years outside the camps, as they struggled to rebuild their lives and overcome poverty, isolation, hostility and racial violence.
Mon, 5/1 11am Pacific Heartbeat #1104: Healer Stones of Kapaemanu On Honolulu’s famous Waikiki Beach stand four large stones that represent a Hawaiian tradition of healing and gender diversity that is all but unknown to the millions of locals and tourists passing by. According to legend, the stones are a tribute to four mahu – people of dual male and female spirit – who brought the healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii and used their spiritual power to cure disease.
12pm Pacific Heartbeat #1002: For My Father’s Kingdom ‘For My Father’s Kingdom’ follows Tongan pensioner Saia Mafile’o and his family as they are stretched to breaking point by the commitment and passion to God that has driven Saia’s life. This debut feature documentary offers a rich view of how contemporary secular families deal with the rigors of devout Christian tithing, as well as a unique insight into traditional Tongan culture.
1pm Hayao Miyazaki: 10 Years with the Master #101: Ponyo Is Here Hayao Miyazaki dreams up characters and plot lines for what would become his 2008 blockbuster, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. Miyazaki explores the limits of his physical ability and imagination to conjure memorable protagonists.
6:30pm Stories from the Stage #520: Growing Up Asian Every day, millions of people are creating their own definitions of what it means to be Asian American. And to do this, they rely on history, culture, family and friends to deal with their dual identities. Tellers share stories that speak to the richness and variety of the Asian American experience.
Tues, 5/2 1pm Hayao Miyazaki: 10 Years with the Master #102: Drawing What’s Real As Miyazaki dreams up characters and plot lines for Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, he delves into memories of his late mother for a thread to weave the story. “Movies show who you are,” Miyazaki says, “no matter how hard you try to hide it.”
Wed, 5/3 1pm Hayao Miyazaki: 10 Years with the Master #103: Go Ahead–Threaten Me Sparks begin to fly as Miyazaki and his son Goro, an up-and-coming director, work on the 2011 film From Up on Poppy Hill. In the final stretch, a massive earthquake and nuclear disaster rock Japan and leave the team in shock. Amid power outages, they decide they must pause their work. That’s when Hayao puts his son’s resolve as a director to the test.
4pm Barkan Discovers: Ainu–A New Generation (NEW) The Ainu are the indigenous people of northern Japan. Once subjected to assimilation policies, many traditions were lost. But now, young Ainu are pushing to restore their heritage. In this documentary, host Peter Barakan meets an artisan who recreates old craft items; performers with a new take on traditional singing and dancing; and a YouTuber who presents language lessons. He also looks at the oppression of the past, and the possibilities of the future.
Thurs, 5/4 1pm Hayao Miyazaki: 10 Years with the Master #104: No Cheap Excuses At age 72, Miyazaki takes on a new challenge – one that would become the highly-acclaimed 2013 film The Wind Rises, Miyazaki’s first film about a historical figure. Bringing the film to fruition turns out to be a long and difficult journey. In the process, Miyazaki grapples with tough questions around aging and the meaning of making animated films in a turbulent time.
4pm American Experience #3208: Mr. Tornado Meet pioneering meteorologist Ted Fujita, who transformed our understanding of tornados. His technological advancements saved lives and helped Americans prepare for and respond to dangerous weather phenomena.
5pm America Reframed #802: Jaddoland Nadia Shihab’s ‘Jaddoland’ is an intimate look into the work of the director’s visual artist mother Lahib Jaddo. ‘Jaddoland’ offers viewers a fresh look at the American immigrant story. Through an exploration of Jaddo’s art and connections to her life in Texas, Shihab drafts a unique picture of how art can help make sense of familial and cultural connections, loss, perseverance and life.
Sat, 5/6 5pm Independent Lens #2313: Try Harder! San Francisco’s Lowell High, one of the best public schools in the country, draws high achievers from across the city into a fiercely competitive universe. Follow seniors as the pressure to impress admissions officers at elite universities intensifies.
Sun, 5/7 7:00pm POV #3501: Wuhan Wuhan Learn the stories of frontline medical workers, patients, and citizens during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the city where the mysterious virus was first discovered.
8:30pm Reel South: Hindsight #101: Volume 1 What does life in the American South and Puerto Rico look like for people of color? From the COVID-19 pandemic to racial reckonings, experience life through the lens of filmmakers from communities of color in Hindsight.
Mon, 5/8 11am Pacific Heartbeat #1003: Stan This breathtakingly honest and brave documentary follows 26-year-old musician Stan Walker as he fights a rare cancer caused by a genetic mutation that has killed 25 members of his family. Facing his diagnosis with humor and determination, he embarks on a mission to seek aggressive treatment and convince his family members who carry the gene that they need to face their potential fate.
12pm Pacific Heartbeat #902: Power Meri ‘Power Meri’ follows Papua New Guinea’s first national women’s rugby team, the PNG Orchids, on their journey to the 2017 World Cup. These trailblazers must beat not only the competition, but also intense sexism, a lack of funding, and national prejudice to reach their biggest stage yet. Proud, strong and hopeful, these women have overcome more challenges than most to take the field. But after years playing at grassroots level with no support, they have just three months to transform themselves into a competitive team on the world stage.
Tues, 5/9 11am Gandhi’s Awakening & Gandhi’s Gift: Part 1 Gandhi’s Awakening documents Mohandas Gandhi in his young, transformative years in South Africa before being known as Mahatma (Great Soul) and Father of the Indian nation. In South Africa he faces prejudice as an Indian immigrant, undergoes a spiritual epiphany and creates a revolutionary nonviolent method to fight oppression that will later be adopted by millions.
12pm Gandhi’s Awakening & Gandhi’s Gift: Part 2 Gandhi’s Gift documents Gandhi at the end of his life, on the brink of attaining his lifelong goal of freedom from the British but with his heart breaking by the partition of India and terrible communal violence that is killing an estimated million or more. Having led masses in nonviolent marches, Gandhi now walks alone for unity and peace.
1pm Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story Meet the statesman who served as cabinet secretary for Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. Imprisoned by the U.S. during World War II for his Japanese ancestry, Mineta rose to become the first Asian American to serve in a presidential cabinet.
Wed, 5/10 11am The Buddha Two and a half millennia ago, a new religion was born in northern India, generated from the ideas of a single man, the Buddha, a mysterious Indian sage who famously gained enlightenment while he sat under a large, shapely fig tree.
1pm Tell Me More with Kelly Corrigan #210: Ai-Jen Poo In Tell Me More, host Kelly Corrigan invites notable guests to engage in long-form conversations about what makes them tick. We also meet the people that motivate and inspire these famous guests.
1:30pm Tell Me More with Kelly Corrigan #302: Richard Lui Kelly Corrigan talks with journalist and author Richard Lui.
Thurs, 5/11 11am Sky Blossom: Diaries of the Next Greatest Generation During World War II, troops would look up and say, “Here come the Sky Blossoms” – paratroopers rushing to their aid. Today, a new generation is answering that call for help. The documentary Sky Blossom: Diaries of the Next Greatest Generation captures their stories.
12:30pm POV #2702: American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs Grace Lee Boggs, 98, was a Chinese American philosopher, writer and activist in Detroit with a thick FBI file and a surprising vision of what an American revolution can be. Rooted in 75 years of the labor, civil rights and Black Power movements, she challenged a new generation to throw off old assumptions, think creatively and redefine revolution for our times.
5pm America Reframed #1104: Blurring the Color Line (NEW) ‘Blurring the Color Line’ follows director Crystal Kwok as she unpacks the history behind her grandmother’s family, who were grocery store owners in the Black community of Augusta, Georgia during the Jim Crow era. By centering on women’s experiences, Kwok poses critical questions around the intersections of anti-Black racism, white power, and Chinese patriarchy in the American South.
6pm Reel South #507 Seadrift In 1979, a fatal shooting ignites hostilities against Vietnamese refugee fishermen along the Gulf Coast. Set during the early days of Vietnamese refugee arrival in the U.S., ‘Seadrift’ examines this turbulent yet little-seen chapter of American history and explores its consequences that continue to reverberate today.
Sat, 5/13 5pm Independent Lens #2411: Hidden Letters The bonds of sisterhood and parallels of struggles among generations of women in China are drawn together by the once-secret written language of Nushu, the only script designed and used exclusively by women.
6:30pm POV Shorts #504: Happiness Is £4 Million (NEW) An idealistic young journalist in Beijing profiles China’s biggest real estate speculator. Their divergent life experiences and clashing values reflect the generational and societal changes happening in the country.
Sun, 5/14 4pm Finding Your Roots #803: Children of Exile Henry Louis Gates, Jr. retraces the ancestral journeys of David Chang and Raul Esparza, whose families fled their homelands, leading them to find lost parts of themselves along the way.
7pm Doc World #602: Ganden: Garden of Joy (NEW) Likened by Buddhists to the Vatican City, Ganden is considered the most influential monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. Monks lived in the monastery for more than 500 years before an invasion drove them to India. ‘Ganden: A Joyful Land’ is a look at the lives of the remaining generation of monks to have studied at the monastery in Tibet where the Dalai Lama’s lineage began.
Mon, 5/15 5pm Local, USA #602: A Tale of Three Chinatowns Explore the survival of Chinatowns in Washington D.C., Chicago, and Boston. Through the voices of residents, developers and many others, the film looks at the forces altering each community and the challenges that go with them.
Tues, 5/16 5pm First Peoples #103: Asia What happened when we expanded out of Africa and into Asia — where did we go and whom did we meet along the way? The latest evidence suggests we left far earlier than previously thought and interbred with a newly-discovered type of ancient human — the Denisovans. Their existence was only established recently, when geneticists extracted DNA from a tiny fragment of finger bone. Their genes found a home within our DNA, helping us survive and thrive.
Thurs, 5/18 4pm Finding the Virgo Vietnamese boat refugee, Lauren Vuong, embarks on a search for the heroic captain and crew of a US cargo ship that rescued her at sea at 7-years old and saved her family and 57 others from certain death. Capturing the American hope and dream, this documentary is a universal tale of war, desperation, survival, and the serendipitous heroes. This is a story needed now more than ever given the current anti-immigrant and anti-refugee rhetoric in the US and globally.
5pm America Reframed #908: Far East Deep South Charles Chiu and his family’s search for their roots takes them on an eye-opening journey through the Mississippi Delta, uncovering the racially complex history of Chinese immigrants in the segregated South. This Chinese American family’s unforgettable story offers a poignant and important perspective on race relations, immigration and American identity.
Fri, 5/19 4pm Behind the Strings (NEW) When Mao’s Cultural Revolution ended, China’s door cracked open. Four young, classical musicians fleed to the West as Western Classical music was banned. The Quartet began a lifetime adventure – studying with great masters, attending Juilliard, and performing at major festivals and venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and The Kennedy Center.
Sat, 5/20 4pm Shohei Ohtani: A Baseball Virtuoso NHK has followed baseball sensation Shohei Ohtani closely since his 2018 Major League debut. We look at Ohtani’s ability to both pitch and bat at the highest level. We hear from those who have supported him on and off the field and examine the importance of his father’s training regime. Join us behind the scenes at such pivotal points as Ohtani’s battle to recover from elbow surgery and reclaim his place as a baseball virtuoso like no other.
Sun, 5/21 3:30pm POV #3306: About Love Three generations of the Phadke family live in their home in Mumbai. When the youngest daughter turns the camera toward her family, the personal becomes political as power structures within the family become visible — and eventually unravel.
6pm Independent Lens #2217: Eating Up Easter See how climate change and a booming tourism trade threaten the fragile economy of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, and meet the local artists, ecologists and developers balancing their strong cultural heritage with modern-day challenges.
7pm Doc World #603: The Accused (NEW) Powerful cleric Khadim Rizvi has one mission: to preserve blasphemy laws in Pakistan – they prescribe a death sentence for disrespecting the Prophet Muhammad. He is running for the country’s highest office to carry out his goal, silencing anyone who tries to change the law with death. The film follows the rise of Rizvi’s push for power as people who have been accused are just pawns in his game
Mon, 5/22 6pm Local, USA #702: Asian American Stories of Resilience, Pt. 1 (NEW) Queer filmmaker, Quyen Nguyen-Le, recovers and articulates the legacy of their mother’s nail salon for their refugee family, and Filipino-American filmmaker Frances Rubio captures the experience of being distanced from her father during the pandemic.
Thurs, 5/25 4pm Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 (NEW) Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 tells the untold story of false information and political influences which led to the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. The film also examines the parallels to the targeting of groups today and similar attempts to abuse the powers of the government.
5pm America ReFramed #806: First Vote ‘First Vote’ is a character-driven verite documentary spanning a diverse cross section of politically engaged Chinese Americans: a gun-toting candidate courting GOP votes in the South; a podcaster in Ohio who became a citizen in order to vote for Trump; a journalist confronting Chinese Americans for Trump after moving to a swing state; and a university professor teaching about race and racism in the US. A verite look at Chinese American electoral organizing in North Carolina and Ohio, the film explores the intersections between immigration, voting rights and racial justice. Directed by Yi Chen, a Chinese immigrant and first-time voter herself, First Vote is a must-watch and rare long-form look at the diverse Asian American electorate.
6pm China: Frame by Frame (NEW) Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker Bill Einreinhofer reflects on the time he spent in China, what he discovered, what he learned and the dramatic changes he witnessed. His pictures include original interviews and scenes shot throughout China, as well as little seen historical footage discovered in America’s National Archives and the Library of Congress.
Fri, 5/26 4pm American Experience #3404: Plague at the Golden Gate Over 100 years before COVID-19 set off a wave of fear and anti-Asian sentiment, an outbreak of bubonic plague in San Francisco’s Chinatown unleashed a similar crisis. The death of a Chinese immigrant in 1900 would have likely gone unnoticed if a medical officer hadn’t discovered evidence of bubonic plague. Health officials used racist pseudoscience to cover up the threat and protect the city’s burgeoning economy. As the outbreak continued to spread, public health officer Rupert Blue became determined to save his city. He established ties to Chinatown and ultimately proved that throngs of flea-infested rats, rather than the habits of the Chinese, were the real reason the disease persisted.
Sat, 5/27 3:30pm Independent Lens #2311: Writing with Fire Meet the women journalists of India’s only all-female news network, who risk everything in a male-dominated world to uncover their country’s political inequities.
5pm American Masters #3403: Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir Explore the life of the groundbreaking author of The Joy Luck Club in this intimate portrait. Archival imagery, home movies, photographs, animation and original interviews create a vivid, colorful journey through Tan’s inspiring life and career.
Sun, 5/28 6pm Armed with Language Armed with Language tells the story of how a little-known military intelligence school in Minnesota played a pivotal role in ending World War II. The institution trained more than 6,000 Japanese Americans, or Nisei, to be translators, interrogators, and Japanese military specialists. After decades of being classified, the story of their courage, sacrifice, and valor is finally being told.
7pm Betrayed: Surviving an American Concentration Camp Betrayed: Surviving An American Concentration Camp tells the story of a group of Japanese Americans and their incarceration by the U.S. government during World War II. It also explores the long-term effects of this incarceration and intergenerational trauma. More than 40 camp survivors and descendants bring an unparalleled immediacy and urgency to the story.
Mon, 5/29 4pm Pacific Heartbeat #1004: Tokyo Hula Today it is estimated there are nearly 2 million people dancing hula in Japan – greater than the population of Hawai’i. ‘Tokyo Hula’ examines how tourism, economics, and a love for all things Hawaiian have fueled this phenomenon by focusing on the personal stories of Japanese teachers who have started schools and Hawaiian master teachers who now teach in Japan.
6pm Local, USA #703: Asian American Stories of Resilience, Pt. 2 (NEW) Filipinx filmmaker Bree Nieves and her cousin grapple with what remains of their dreams, after losing one of their fathers. Chanthon Bun must tread carefully after being released from prison since he lost his legal protection to live in the U.S.