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On TV: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month — May 2024

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"Taste of Malaysia with Martin Yan" airs Saturdays at 9:30am and Sundays at 11am 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.


Taste of Malaysia with Martin Yan
Saturdays at 9:30am and Sundays at 11am
Taste of Malaysia with Martin Yan is a journey of cultural discovery through this stunning gem in Southeast Asia. The 13-part series presents a wide variety of dishes from this tri-cultural landscape, as well as highlights diverse cultural and historical elements.

Lucky Chow Season 6 (New Season)
Tuesdays at 7pm
Lucky Chow travels across the United States to explore Asian cuisine’s impact on American food culture. This six-part series explores a wide variety of Asian food and drink – from a famous Japanese noodle dish to Korean kimchi to Chinese fusion – while meeting the new generation of chefs and entrepreneurs dedicated to keeping the traditions alive.

Fri, 5/3
9pm Great Performances: Now Hear This: The Composer is Yoo (NEW)
Follow host Scott Yoo’s journey to compose a piece of music for the first time. Seeking counsel from other composers, Yoo revisits his heritage in search of ideas, performs landmark pieces for inspiration and ultimately tests his work in progress.

10pm Play Like a Lion: The Legacy of Ali Akbar
Play Like a Lion travels India and across time to explore the musical legacy of Indian sarodist Ali Akbar Khan, seen through the eyes of his son Alam. Enjoy commentaries from Carlos Santana, Mickey Hart, Derek Trucks, John Handy, Aashish Khan, and tabla masters Zakir Hussain and Swapan Chaudhuri, all set to a soundtrack of Khan’s music – “the sound of singing water.” 


Sat, 5/4
10pm A Thousand Pebbles on the Ground
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.

Watch “Independent Lens: Try Harder!” Saturday, May 4 at 10:30pm on KQED 9.

10:30pm Independent Lens: 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.

Fri, 5/10
8pm To Be Takei (NEW)
Over seven decades, actor and activist George Takei boldly journeyed from a WWII internment camp, to the helm of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise, to the daily news feeds of five million Facebook fans. Join George and his husband Brad on this star’s playful and profound trek for life, liberty, and love.

Sat, 5/11
10pm American Experience: Plague at the Golden Gate
100 years before the COVID-19 pandemic, the bubonic plague struck SF’s Chinatown, unleashing a crisis. Officials, driven by racist pseudoscience, aimed to hide the threat, fearing the city would be the epidemic’s US hub. Public health officer Rupert Blue defied this narrative, proving that flea-infested rats – not Chinese habits -were the real reason the disease persisted.

Mon, 5/13
10pm Photographic Justice: The Corky Lee Story (NEW)
Using his camera as a “weapon against injustice,” photographer Corky Lee’s art is his activism. His images of Asian American life empowered generations. This intimate portrait reveals the triumphs and tragedies of the man behind the lens.

11pm Vanishing Chinatown: The World of the Mays Photo Studio
This documentary highlights everyday life in SF’s Chinatown a century ago amid public outcry over anti-Asian hate crimes. Hundreds of photographs, rescued from a Chinatown dumpster, offer an insider’s view into the lives of an immigrant community. These images preserve community life such as civic parades, small businesses, and Cantonese opera scenes.

Sat, 5/18
10pm American Masters: 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.

Fri, 5/24
8pm Snapshots of Confinement (NEW)
During WWII, the U.S. government limited Japanese Americans’ camera use in confinement sites, while utilizing photography for propaganda. Despite this, Japanese American families found ways to document their lives. The photo albums reveal stories of community and resilience, transforming how this history is understood today.

Watch “Fanny: The Right to Rock” Saturday, May 25 at 10pm on KQED 9.

Sat, 5/25
10pm Fanny: The Right to Rock
In the 1960s in Sacramento, two Filipina American sisters formed legendary rock group Fanny, the first all-women band to release an LP with a major record label. Despite critical acclaim, tours with famed bands, and a fan base including David Bowie, their impact in music was written out of history until they reunited 50 years later with a new record deal, ready to reclaim their place in rock ‘n’ roll fame despite facing barriers of race, gender, sexuality, and ageism.

11:30pm POV Shorts: Happiness Is £4 Million
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.

Tue, 5/28
9pm Finding Your Roots: 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.


Lucky Chow Season 5
Fridays at 12pm
In Season 5, Lucky Chow returns with six new episodes celebrating Asian culture in America through the lens of culinary makers, eaters, growers, and more. We take you island hopping — from Manhattan to Honolulu, in search of next-generation tastemakers, wellness remedies rooted in Asian heritage, and heartwarming stories of activists fighting for the future and legacy of Asian food culture in America.

Confucius Was a Foodie Season 2
Fridays at 1pm
Chef Christine Cushing uncovers traditions, philosophies, and history of Chinese culinary culture and its influence on food around the world. Inspired by the revelation that the Chinese philosopher Confucius was a foodie, she journeys from North American Chinese cuisines to culinary politics of Taiwan, the tasty richness of Hong Kong, and the blended flavors of South East Asia to find connections to the gastronomic precepts of the great Chinese philosopher.

Thu, 5/2
7pm Asian Americans: 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.

Fri, 5/3
1pm Come Back Anytime
Self-taught ramen master Masamoto Ueda and his wife Kazuko have run their Tokyo ramen shop for more than forty years. On the weekends, they venture together across the Japanese countryside, harvesting pears, bamboo shoots, and wild mountain yams. Come Back Anytime features gorgeous scenery, mouth-watering dishes, and a delightful cast of regular customers.

Sat, 5/4
7:30am American Masters: Tyrus Wong
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.

Watch “The Story of China with Michael Wood: Ancestors/Silk Roads and China Ships” Saturday, May 4 at 9am on KQED Plus.

9am The Story of China with Michael Wood: 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, hear the tale of China’s bloodthirsty First Emperor, and travel the Silk Road to discover the brilliant Tang dynasty.

7pm NOVA: Secrets of the Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is the world’s biggest and most extravagant palace complex ever built. For five centuries, it was the power center of imperial China and survived wars, revolution, fires, and earthquakes. How did the Ming Emperor’s workforce construct its sprawling array of nearly 1,000 buildings and dozens of temples in a little over a decade?

11pm House in the Garden: Shofuso and Modernism (NEW)
The design philosophies of George Nakashima, Junzo Yoshimura, and Antonin and Noemi Raymond continue to influence architecture and design today. House in the Garden: Shofuso and Modernism visually showcase three significant sites in Philadelphia that highlight the influence of traditional Japanese architecture on modernist architecture and design.

Sun, 5/5
10am The Vow from Hiroshima
The Vow from Hiroshima follows Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, on her 75-year journey to channel her horrific experience as a 13-year-old into banning nuclear weapons globally. Told through the intergenerational lens of her friendship with a second-generation survivor, the film takes us through Setsuko’s extraordinary life up to her present-day fight to abolish nuclear weapons.

Watch “Asian Americans: A Question of Loyalty” Sunday, May 5 at 5pm on KQED Plus.

5pm Asian Americans: A Question of Loyalty
Meet the first generation of U.S.-born Asian Americans, whose loyalties are tested during WWII. Told through intimate personal stories, the series will cast a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played.

6pm Asian Americans: Good Americans
Learn how Asian Americans are simultaneously heralded as a model minority and targeted as the perpetual foreigner during the Cold War. It is also a time of bold ambition, as Asian Americans aspire to national political office.

Sat, 5/11
7am The Story of China with Michael Wood: 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.

9am The Story of China with Michael Wood: The Last Empire/The Age of Revolution
Journey back in time to see the splendor of the last Chinese dynasty, the Qing. Witness the fateful First Opium War, which sparked the fall of the empire, and, after the 20th-century revolutions, the birth of today’s China.

Sun, 5/12
10am 80 Years Later
The film explores the racial inheritance of Japanese American family incarceration during World War II through multigenerational conversations with survivors and their descendants. On the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, 120,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II. 

4pm Ink & Linda
Ink & Linda is a feature documentary chronicling the unexpected friendship and collaboration between Inksap, a Vietnamese American urban artist in his 20s, and Linda, an elder stateswoman of the modern dance scene in her 70s – as they team up to form LA’s most unlikely street art duo.

5pm Asian Americans: 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.

6pm Asian Americans: 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.

Watch “Quietest Place on Earth” Friday, May 17 at 4:30pm on KQED Plus.

Fri, 5/17
4:30p Quietest Place on Earth
On Maui, the Haleakala volcano rises 10,000 feet, with its massive crater called “The Quietest Place on Earth.” For some, the exquisite stillness of this volcanic landscape can mimic a religious experience, while for others, it inspires a deeper awareness of humans’ place in nature. Quietest Place on Earth explores Maui’s geological and spiritual birthplace. 

Mon, 5/27
2pm Epic Train Journeys from Above: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is an engineering classic in the lap of the Himalayas, traveling through precarious terrains and five climatic zones.


Wed, 5/1
11am Pacific Heartbeat: The Healer Stones of Kapaemanu
On Waikiki Beach stand four large stones that represent a Hawaiian tradition of healing and gender diversity. Legend has it that the stones honor 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: 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 Christianity, as well as a unique insight into traditional Tongan culture.

Watch “Pacific Heartbeat: Ola Hou: Journey to New York Fashion Week” Wednesday, May 1 at 1pm on KQED World.

1pm Pacific Heartbeat: Ola Hou: Journey to New York Fashion Week
When Native Hawaiian fashion designer Sharayah Chun-Lai is invited by Runway 7 to showcase her brand, Ola Hou Designs, at New York Fashion Week, she and her family dive into a whirlwind of planning and preparation to bring the spirit of the Big Island to the Big Apple. Ola Hou Designs embodies resilience, family, and the determination to make dreams into reality. 

4pm POV Shorts: In the Absence
A South Korean community is torn apart by a ferry disaster that claimed the lives of hundreds of children. When government incompetence is revealed as the main cause, the victims’ families seek justice.

4:30pm POV: Liquor Store Dreams
Two Korean American children of liquor store owners reconcile their own dreams with those of their immigrant parents. Along the way, they confront the complex legacies of LA’s racial landscape, including the 1991 murder of Latasha Harlins and the 1992 uprisings sparked by the police beating of Rodney King, while struggling for social and economic justice.

Thu, 5/2      
12:30pm POV: 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.

4pm Behind the Strings
When Mao’s Cultural Revolution ended, China’s door cracked open. Four young, classical musicians seized the opportunity to flee 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 music festivals and best classical music venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Kennedy Center.

5pm America ReFramed: Chinatown Rising
A chronicle of the battles for social justice in the historic San Francisco neighborhood is told through rare archival footage, photos, and interviews of the community’s leaders and activists from the 1960s.

Mon, 5/6     
11am Gandhi’s Awakening & Gandhi’s Gift: Part 1
Gandhi’s Awakening documents Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in his young, transformative years in South Africa before he became known as Mahatma (Great Soul) and Father of the Indian nation. In South Africa, he faces prejudice and hatred as an Indian immigrant, undergoes a spiritual epiphany of purpose, and creates a revolutionary nonviolent method to fight injustice and oppression that will later be adopted by millions around the globe.

12pm 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.

Watch “Local, USA: A Tale of Three Chinatowns” Monday, May 6 at 5pm on KQED World.

5pm Local, USA: 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.

Tue, 5/7
11am 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.

12pm POV: American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs
Grace Lee Boggs was a Chinese American philosopher, writer, and activist in Detroit with a thick FBI file and a surprising vision of what an American revolution could be. Rooted in 75 years of the labor, civil rights and Black Power movements, she challenged a new generation to throw off old assumptions, thought creatively, and redefined revolution for our times.

1:30pm Tell Me More with Kelly Corrigan: Ai-Jen Poo
In Tell Me More, host Kelly Corrigan invites notable guests to engage in long-form conversations, reflecting on their lives and the impact they can have on their worlds. Guest Ai-Jen Poo talks about the roots of her activism and the art of listening with dignity.

Wed, 5/8    
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.

Watch “Unconditional: Healing Hidden Wounds” Wednesday, May 8 at 12:30pm on KQED World.

12:30pm Unconditional: Healing Hidden Wounds
Unconditional: Healing Hidden Wounds is a revealing documentary about the home healthcare crises of mental wellness. Mental health issues and questions of emotional wellness challenge some 50 million family caregivers each year, and often they do not know it. Filmed over seven years, the cinema verite film follows three very different families as they discover the impacts, stresses and rewards of caregiving for their loved ones living with disabilities.

Thu, 5/9
11am American Masters: Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV
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.

4pm A Dream in Doubt
A Dream in Doubt tells a personal story of tragedy, family connection, community, and an American Dream that is in danger of slipping away. Centered on Sikh Americans in Phoenix, Arizona, a community of families experienced a wave of hate crimes in the aftermath of 9/11. In the end, this moving portrait of one man’s odyssey from persecution in India to embracing America as his homeland proves that courage and hope have the power to overcome hate. 

5pm America ReFramed: In Search of Bengali Harlem (NEW)
Teen Alaudin Ullah was drawn to hip-hop, rebelling against his Bangladeshi roots. Now a playwright navigating post-9/11 Hollywood’s Islamophobia, he sets out to tell his parents’ stories. In Search of Bengali Harlem tracks his quest from mid-20th-century Harlem to Bangladesh, unveiling intertwined histories of South Asian Muslims, African Americans, and Puerto Ricans.

6:30pm POV Shorts: The Calling
Two films exploring creed and conviction. A Muslim hospital chaplain honors his Southern heritage and fights white supremacy in “Redneck Muslim.” Three London neighbors share their devotion to Islam, Christianity, and football in “The Masses.”

Fri, 5/10
5pm Independent Lens: Hidden Letters
The bonds of sisterhood, and the 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: Our Motherland Fantasy Nightmare
Two families experience homeland violence across generations. In “Call Me Anytime, I’m Not Leaving the House,” two Ukrainian sisters – one recently emigrated to Brooklyn, the other in war-besieged Odessa – long to be reunited and reminisce about their homeland. “Freedom Swimmer” is the story of a grandfather’s perilous swim from China to Hong Kong that parallels his granddaughter’s own quest for a new freedom.

Sun, 5/12               
4pm 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 fled the coast, becoming refugees in their own country. Before They Take Us Away is the first documentary to chronicle the untold stories of the “self-evacuees” who overcame poverty, isolation, hostility, and racial violence.

Mon, 5/13   
11am POV: 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.

4pm POV Shorts: Comic Culture
Slices of life from opposite sides of the world, where the everyday veers into comedy. A Mumbai family adopts a pet chicken in “Tungrus.” A practical traffic solution in Stockholm becomes a human failure in “The Traffic Separating Device.”

Watch “Independent Lens: The Donut King” Monday, May 13 at 4:30pm on KQED World.

4:30pm Independent Lens: 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.

Tue, 5/14    
11am Independent Lens: 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.

12:30pm POV: Children of the Mist
Learn the story of Di, a 13-year-old Hmong girl living in rural Northwest Vietnam as she navigates the cultural and social challenges faced by young girls in her community while balancing inherited traditions and modernity.

Wed, 5/15
11:30am Tell Me More with Kelly Corrigan: Richard Lui
Kelly Corrigan talks with journalist and author, Richard Lui. The show features insightful conversations with notable guests, reflecting on their lives and the impact they can have on their worlds.

12pm POV: Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust
Three communities intersect, sharing histories of forced removal – Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at the Manzanar WWII concentration camp, Native Americans who were forced from these lands, and ranchers turned environmentalists, who were bought out by the LA Department of Water and Power. How do they come together in the present moment to defend their land and water from Los Angeles?

1pm Unsettled History: America, China and the Tokyo Doolittle Raid
Unsettled History: America, China and the Tokyo Doolittle 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.

4pm China: Frame by Frame
Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker Bill Einreinhofer reflects on the time he spent in China, what he discovered, 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 the most unlikely of places: America’s National Archives and the Library of Congress.

Thu, 5/16    
11am Doc World: Ganden: A Joyful Land
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 a brutal invasion drove them to India. Ganden: A Joyful Land is a look at the lives and remembrances of the remaining generation of monks to have studied at the monastery in Tibet where the Dalai Lama’s lineage began.

12:30pm Doc World: The Accused: Damned or Devoted?
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.

4pm 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.

5pm America ReFramed: 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 otherwise unknown stories and 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.

Watch “Pacific Heartbeat: Tokyo Hula” Friday, May 17 at 5pm on KQED World.

Fri, 5/17
5pm Pacific Heartbeat: Tokyo Hula
Tokyo Hula explores the cultural phenomenon of nearly 2 million people dancing hula in Japan – surpassing Hawaii’s population. It examines how tourism, economics, and a love for all things Hawaiian have fueled this movement by focusing on the personal stories of Japanese teachers starting their own schools and Hawaiian master teachers who now live and teach in Japan.

6pm Pacific Heartbeat: American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai’i
Hula Beyond Hawai’i tells the stories of three kumu hula (master instructors) who direct hula schools based in California. The film explores the challenges they face trying to perpetuate hula faithfully, from the very traditional to the contemporary, as it evolves on distant shores. Their stories serve as a reminder of the power of tradition for communities creating a home away from home.

Sun, 5/19               
4pm 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 the phenomenon of intergenerational trauma. More than 40 camp survivors and descendants bring an unparalleled urgency to the story.

8pm Pacific Heartbeat: 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.

Mon, 5/20   
1pm First Peoples: Asia
Recent evidence suggests that humans expanded out of Africa into Asia earlier than previously thought and interbred with a newly discovered type of ancient human — the Denisovans. Their existence was only established four years ago through DNA extracted from a finger bone. Their genes found a home within our DNA which has helped us survive and thrive.

6pm Local, USA: Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond, Volume One
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.

Wed, 5/22  
4pm Independent Lens: Free Chol Soo Lee
Sentenced to death for a 1973 San Francisco murder, Korean immigrant Chol Soo Lee was set free after a pan-Asian solidarity movement led by Korean, Japanese, and Chinese Americans. After 10 years of fighting for his life in San Quentin, Lee faced a new fight to rise to the expectations of his supporters. From an inspiring icon to a swing-shift janitor struggling with drug addiction, Chol Soo Lee personifies the ravages of America’s prison industrial complex.

Thu, 5/23                
4pm Shinmachi: Stronger Than a Tsunami
Shinmachi: Stronger Than a Tsunami is a 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.

Watch “America ReFramed: Blurring the Color Line” Thursday, May 23 at 5pm on KQED World.

5pm America ReFramed: Blurring the Color Line
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 women’s experiences, Kwok poses critical questions around the intersections of anti-Black racism, white power, and Chinese patriarchy in the American South.

6pm Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 906
Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 tells the untold story of false information and political influences that 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.

Fri, 5/24                  
4pm 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.

Sat, 5/25
9am 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 WWII. The institution trained more than 6,000 Japanese Americans 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.

Sun, 5/26                                                                     
11pm Independent Lens: Beyond Utopia
The gripping story of families attempting to escape oppression in North Korea, reveals a world many have never seen.

Mon, 5/27   
4:30pm American Masters: Waterman: Duke–Ambassador of Aloha
Narrated by Jason Momoa, 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.

6pm Local, USA: Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond, Volume Two
Filipinx filmmaker Bree Nieves and her cousin grapple with what remains of their dreams, after losing one of their fathers; and Chanthon Bun must tread carefully after being released from prison since he lost his legal protection to live in the U.S.

Wed, 5/29  
4pm POV: How to Have an American Baby
Voyage into the shadow economy that caters to Chinese tourists who travel to the US to give birth in order to obtain citizenship for their babies. Told through a series of intimately observed vignettes, the story of a hidden global economy emerges-depicting the fortunes and tragedies that befall the ordinary people caught in its web.

Thu, 5/30    
4pm Reel South: South by South Korea
Two films bridge the American South and the Korean Peninsula, showcasing the historical and contemporary currents connecting these regions. From stories about one restaurant’s overnight fame and the perils of celebrity culture, and another chronicling the overlooked crises of motherhood and adoption, comes a clearer complexion of Korean-American life at home and abroad.

Watch “America ReFramed: Geographies of Kinship” Thursday, May 30 at 5pm on KQED World.

5pm America ReFramed: Geographies of Kinship
In this powerful tale about the rise of Korea’s global adoption program, four adult adoptees return to their country of birth and recover the personal histories that were lost when they were adopted.

6:30pm Unadopted
After 20 years in foster care, Noel Anaya claimed his independence in court at age 21. Unadopted follows Noel on his quest for answers about his family and foster care experience, blending his journey with the stories of two other teens in the system. The film examines long-term foster care, includes discussions about feelings on adoption, their relationships with their birth parents and siblings, and issues of identity and permanency.


Fri, 5/31      
4pm Guru Nanak: Founder of Sikhism
Guru Nanak: Founder of Sikhism tells the life story of the 15th-century teacher and revolutionary activist from Punjab, India who founded the Sikh faith – the world’s fifth largest religion. The documentary explores how Guru Nanak’s legacy inspires Sikh Americans today to exercise compassion, take risks, challenge established norms, and help others.

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