Asian Reporter Info
FIVE-PART SERIES. Pictured is Bhagat Singh Thind as a young man wearing his U.S. Army uniform and holding a rifle at Camp Lewis in 1918 during World War I. Thind, a Sikh American, was the first U.S. serviceman to be allowed for religious reasons to wear a turban as part of their military uniform. Thind is featured in the five-part Asian Americans series. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Bhagat Singh Thind Spiritual Science Foundation)
AMBASSADOR OF ALOHA. Waterman: Duke, Ambassador of Aloha, which tells the inspiring story and considerable impact of five-time Olympic medallist Duke Kahanamoku, airs on Saturday, May 20 on OPB World. Kahanamoku shattered swimming records and globalized surfing while overcoming racism in a lifetime of personal challenges. (Photo courtesy of American Masters)
BETRAYED. Betrayed: Surviving an American Concentration Camp, which airs May 28 on OPB World, tells the story of a group of Japanese Americans and their forced incarceration by the U.S. government during World War II. Several Asian Heritage Month programs are also streaming online at <www.opb.org> and <www.pbs.org>. (Photo courtesy of Oregon Public Broadcasting)
From The Asian Reporter, V33, #5 (May 1, 2023), pages 10, 11 & 14.
Oregon Public Broadcasting to feature shows with an Asian focus throughout Heritage Month
Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) has released its schedule of Asian-related programs, shows, and documentaries airing during Asian Heritage Month. The organization is featuring pieces created by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Oregon Experience, Pacific Heartbeat, America ReFramed, Independent Lens, and others.
The list of features include premieres of Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV on Tuesday, May 16, and Fanny: The Right to Rock on Monday, May 22. Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV traces the life and work of the avant-garde artist best known as the father of video art who coined the term "electronic superhighway." Fanny: The Right to Rock tells the story of the first all-women band to release an album with a major record label.
Locally produced shows, such as episodes of Oregon Experience, include Oregon’s Japanese Americans on May 8 and Massacre at Hells Canyon on May 15. In addition, segments of Asian Americans, the five-part series released in 2020, traces the epic story of Asian Americans spanning 150 years of immigration, racial politics, international relations, and cultural innovation.
The programming is scheduled to air on both OPB and OPB World. Several shows are also streaming online through various services, including <www.pbs.org>. For more information, call (503) 293-1982. To learn more, or to view the full schedule online, visit <www.opb.org>.
Below is a partial schedule:
Asian Americans: "Breaking Ground"
May 1, 9:00pm, OPB World
May 2, 11:00pm, OPB
In an era of exclusion, new immigrants arrived in the U.S. from China, India, Japan, the Philippines, and elsewhere. Eventually barred by anti-Asian laws, the first show in the epic five-part Asian Americans series that premiered in 2020 — titled "Breaking Ground" — tells how newcomers became America’s first "undocumented immigrants" even as they built railroads and dazzled on the silver screen. They also took the fight for equality to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Stories From the Stage: "Asian Voices"
May 1, 11:30pm, OPB World
Every day, millions of people create 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. In "Asian Voices," an episode of Stories From the Stage, storytellers share tales that speak to the richness and variety of the Asian-American experience.
Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day in March
May 2, 10:00pm, OPB
May 3, 10:00pm, OPB World
In March 2021, a 21-year-old man murdered eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at three spas in Atlanta, Georgia — a horrific attack in a year of widespread anti-Asian violence. Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day in March pays tribute to the lives lost, examines the rise of anti-Asian racism, and documents a growing movement to fight back and stop the hate. The one-hour documentary takes a deep dive into this critical moment of racial reckoning while exploring the need for better hate crime legislation, demanding accountability from law enforcement, and chronicling a community as they break their silence to rise up against hate. Ultimately, the film asks the crucial question of what’s next for Asian Americans — in the courts, in the voting booth, and in the streets.
Barakan Discovers: "Ainu, a New Generation"
May 3, 9:00pm, OPB World
May 24, 11:00pm, OPB
Learn about the Ainu, an indigenous people in northern Japan, in "Ainu, a New Generation," an episode of Barakan Discovers. The Ainu were once subjected to cultural assimilation policies and many of their traditions were lost, but now, young Ainu are spearheading a movement to restore their heritage. In the show, host Peter Barakan meets an artisan who re-creates 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 that exist in the future.
POV Shorts: Where I’m From
May 4, 8:00pm, OPB World
Where I’m From, a POV Short, tells stories about home and how it shapes us. A segment of the show, "Sing Me a Lullaby," which spans 14 years and two continents, follows a daughter as she searches for her mother’s birth parents in Taiwan, unravelling complex tensions between love and sacrifice.
May 4, 11:00pm, May 5, 7:00pm &
May 8, 7:00pm, OPB World
Mr. Tornado tells the remarkable story of Tetsuya Theodore "Ted" Fujita, whose groundbreaking work in research and applied science saved thousands of lives and helped Americans prepare for and respond to dangerous weather phenomena. Fujita devoted his life to unlocking the mysteries of severe storms.
Oregon Art Beat: "Fabric of Life"
May 4, 8:00pm & May 7, 6:00pm, OPB
"Fabric of Life," an episode of Oregon Art Beat, focuses on Fuchsia Lin, an artist, costume designer, and filmmaker. Lin’s designs have become fantastical, other worldly costumes that have graced stages from Broadway to the Oregon Ballet Theatre. Now, she is creating films to highlight her work. "I just love seeing my costumes in motion, in performances, and in film," says Lin. "They really just come to life."
America ReFramed: Jaddoland
May 4, 9:00pm, May 6, 7:00pm & 11:00pm, OPB World
Nadia Shihab’s Jaddoland is an intimate portrait of the work and process of the director’s visual artist mother, Lahib Jaddo. The film offers a fresh look at the immigrant story in America. Through an exploration of her mother’s art and connections to her life in Texas, Shihab also drafts a unique picture of how art can help both the creator and the audience make sense of familial and cultural connections, loss, perseverance, and life.
And Then They Came for Us
May 5, 10:00pm, OPB World
Inspired by the book Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese-Americans During World War II by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams, And Then They Came for Us brings history into the present, retelling the difficult story of Executive Order 9066, which paved the way to the profound violation of constitutional rights that resulted in the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans and the Japanese-American activism that followed, with community members speaking out against the Muslim registry and travel ban. The 50-minute documentary features George Takei and many others who were incarcerated, as well as recently rediscovered photographs of Dorothea Lange.
May 6, 5:00pm & May 6, 9:00pm, OPB World
Try Harder!, an episode of Independent Lens, takes place at Lowell High School, San Francisco’s academic pressure cooker, where the kids are stressed out. With a majority Asian-American student body, high-achieving seniors share their dreams and anxieties about getting into a top university.
May 6, 6:30pm & 10:30pm, May 14, 8:30pm, OPB World
"Bloodline" is a profile of Vietnamese-American chef Tu David Phu and the evolution of his culinary aesthetic. The program follows Tu as he returns home to Oakland, California, after competing on the cooking series "Top Chef." From the son of refugees growing up in West Oakland to a professional chef, Tu’s acclaimed culinary creations are heralded as the next wave of Asian fusion representing Vietnamese culture.
Oregon Experience: Oregon’s Japanese Americans
May 8, 9:00pm, OPB
In Oregon’s Japanese Americans, an episode of Oregon Experience, viewers discover the history of Japanese Americans in Oregon, from their early beginnings to forced incarceration during World War II and beyond. By the 1920s, Japanese-American communities in Portland and Hood River were thriving. Immigrant pioneers managed businesses, farms, and orchards with their American-born children. The attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 changed everything.
Asian Americans: "A Question of Loyalty"
May 8, 9:00pm, OPB World
May 9, 11:00pm, OPB
An American-born generation straddles their country of birth and the homelands of their parents in "A Question of Loyalty," an episode of the five-part series Asian Americans. Those loyalties are tested during World War II when families are imprisoned in detention camps and brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the battle lines.
America ReFramed: Blurring the Color Line
May 11, 9:00pm, May 13, 7:00pm & 11:00pm, OPB World
Blurring the Color Line follows director Crystal Kwok as she unpacks the history behind her grandmother’s family, who were neighborhood 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.
Reel South: Seadrift
May 11, 10:00pm & May 13, 8:00pm, OPB World
In 1979, a fatal shooting ignited a maelstrom of 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.
Shinmachi: Stronger Than a Tsunami
May 11, 11:00pm & May 12, 7:00pm, OPB World
On the morning of April 1, 1946, a deadly tsunami reduced Shinmachi to rubble. In Shinmachi: Stronger Than a Tsunami, discover the resilience of a unique Japanese community in Hilo, Hawai‘i. 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.
May 12, 9:00pm, OPB World
Tyrus Wong, a show by American Masters, tells the story of the renowned painter. Until his death at the age of 106, Wong was America’s oldest living Chinese-American artist and one of the last remaining artists from the golden age of Disney animation. The quiet beauty of his eastern-influenced paintings had a pioneering impact on American art and popular culture.
May 13, 5:00pm & 9:00pm, OPB World
In Hidden Letters, an episode of Independent Lens, 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.
Doc World: Ganden: A Joyful Land
May 14, 7:00pm & 11:00pm, OPB World
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.
Massacre at Hells Canyon
May 15, 9:30pm, OPB
Massacre at Hells Canyon, an episode of Oregon Experience, details an 1887 incident in which as many as 34 Chinese gold miners were massacred on the Oregon side of Hells Canyon in what was likely the nation’s worst massacre of Chinese people. Though the culprits — a gang of Wallowa County men — were well known, no one was ever convicted and the crime was largely forgotten. Chinese immigrants were instrumental in building the west, but they faced unprecedented legalized discrimination and violence.
A Tale of Three Chinatowns
May 15, 10:00pm & May 16, 7:00pm, OPB World
A Tale of Three Chinatowns, presented by Local, USA, explores the survival of urban ethnic neighborhoods in three American cities: Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Boston. Through the voices of residents, community activists, developers, and government officials, the film looks at the forces altering each community and the challenges that go with them, including the pressing issue of urban development and gentrification.
Asian Americans: "Good Americans"
May 15, 9:00pm, OPB World
May 16, 11:00pm, OPB
Part of the five-part series Asian Americans, "Good Americans" addresses the Cold War years, when Asian Americans are simultaneously heralded as a model minority and targeted as a perpetual foreigner. Bold ambition also emerges, as Asian Americans aspire for the first time to national political office and a coming culture-quake simmers beneath the surface.
Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV
May 16, 9:00pm, OPB
May 19, 10:00pm & May 22, 7:00pm, OPB World
Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV, an episode of American Masters, premieres on Tuesday, May 16 during Asian Heritage Month. The feature traces the life and work of the avant-garde artist best known as the father of video art. Narrated by Oscar nominee Steven Yeun, viewers see the world through the eyes of Nam June Paik, who saw a future in which "everybody will have his own TV channel." With the advent of social media and the rise of platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, Paik’s vision of the future looks startlingly like the present. Born in Japan-occupied Korea, Paik went on to become a pillar of the American avant-garde and transformed modern image-making with his sculptures, films, and performances. Paik also coined of the term "electronic superhighway."
"First Peoples: Asia"
May 16, 10:00pm, OPB World
In "First Peoples: Asia," viewers discover the ancient humans living across Asia when Homo sapiens arrived. Our ancestors mated with them and their genes found a home within our DNA. More than that, they’ve helped humans face down extinction.
Finding the Virgo
May 18, 11:00pm & May 19, 7:00pm, OPB World
Finding the Virgo, a documentary, follows the Vuong family through their post-war years in Vietnam, including the family patriarch’s imprisonment, their harrowing escape and rescue at sea, and their daughter’s decades-long search for their saviors.
America ReFramed: Far East Deep South
May 18, 9:00pm & May 20,
7:00pm & 11:00pm, OPB World
Far East Deep South follows Charles Chiu and his family as they travel from California to Mississippi to find the grave of Charles’ father, K.C. Lou. The search leads to stunning revelations about their family, and they receive a crash course on the history of Chinese immigrants in the segregated South. Through encounters with local residents and historians, this Chinese-American family not only discovers their family’s important role in the Mississippi Delta, but they also learn about the symbiotic relationship between the Black and Chinese communities during the Jim Crow era.
Vanishing Chinatown: The World of the May’s Photo Studio
May 18, 10:30pm, May 20, 8:30pm &
May 31, 9:00pm, OPB World
In the early- to mid-1900s, Leo and Isabella May Chan Lee, owners of The May’s Photo Studio in San Francisco’s Chinatown, turned out one-of-a-kind photos of Chinese-American immigrants. Vanishing Chinatown: The World of the May’s Photo Studio, by director Emiko Omori, tells the story of hundreds of photographs, serendipitously rescued from a San Francisco Chinatown garbage dumpster, that were almost lost to time. The arresting images, which utilized collage, double exposure, and more, are a rare and intimate look at an immigrant people taken by The May’s Photo Studio. The body of work presents a vibrant community that flourished despite racial discrimination and severely restrictive laws.
Behind the Strings
May 19, 9:00pm, OPB World
When Mao’s Cultural Revolution ended, China’s door cracked open, and four young, classical musicians seized the opportunity to flee to the west as classical music was banned. Behind the Strings explores how the Shanghai Quartet began a lifetime adventure — studying with great masters, attending Juilliard, and performing at major music festivals and top classical music venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Kennedy Center. When the quartet’s cellist decided to leave, they invited a young American grad student from New York City’s Spanish Harlem to join the quartet. He was a highly praised cellist but also had a New York City "attitude" that the three Chinese musicians had never encountered.
Waterman: Duke, Ambassador of Aloha
May 20, 5:00pm & 9:00pm, OPB World
Waterman: Duke, Ambassador of Aloha, by American Masters, tells the inspiring story and considerable impact of five-time Olympic medallist Duke Kahanamoku, who shattered swimming records and globalized surfing while overcoming racism in a lifetime of personal challenges. As a dark-skinned Pacific Islander, Kahanamoku broke through racial barriers with athletic accomplishments before Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, and Jackie Robinson; yet relatively few outside of Hawai‘i know the details of his inspiring story and considerable impact. Narrated by Jason Momoa, Waterman reveals Kahanamoku’s influence on surfing’s global spread, his life-saving achievements, and the obstacles he conquered both within and outside the sporting world.
Asian American Stories of Resilience, Volume 1
May 22, 11:00pm & May 23, 7:00pm, OPB World
Asian American Stories of Resilience, Volume 1, presented by Local, USA, reflects on the complexities of Asian-American experiences. In the program, 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 records and captures the experience of being distanced from her sick father, who has been isolated in his facility during the pandemic.
Asian Americans: "Generation Rising"
May 22, 9:00pm, OPB World
May 23, 11:00pm, OPB
Episode 4 of the of the five-part Asian Americans series is "Generation Rising." The show highlights a time of war and social tumult, when a young generation fighting for equality in the fields, on campuses, and in the culture, claim a new identity — Asian Americans. In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, new immigrants and refugees expand the population and the definition of "Asian America."
Fanny: The Right to Rock
May 22, 11:00pm, OPB
May 24, 9:30pm, OPB World
Fanny: The Right to Rock tells the story of the first all-women band to release an album with a major record label (Warner/Reprise, 1970). The group was co-founded in California 50 years ago by Filipina-American and queer teenagers. Fanny bandmates expertly played their own instruments and penned original songs that were ahead of their time, with lyrics exploring themes of sexual freedom, war, relationships, and identity. According to pbs.org, Fanny is "the most groundbreaking rock group you’ve never heard of … yet."
Asian Americans: "Breaking Through"
May 22, 10:00pm, OPB World
May 30, 11:00pm, OPB
"Breaking Through," part of the Asian Americans series, revisits the turn of the millennium, when the U.S. is tackling conflicts over immigration, race, economic disparity, and a shifting world order. A new generation of Asian Americans empowered by growing numbers, rising influence, and more diversity faces a reckoning of what it means to be an American in an increasingly divided society.
America ReFramed: First Vote
May 25, 9:00pm, May 27, 7:00pm & 11:00pm, OPB World
First Vote is a character-driven verité documentary with unparalleled access to a diverse cross section of politically engaged Chinese Americans: a gun-toting Tea Party-favorite candidate courting GOP votes in the South; a podcaster in Ohio who became a citizen in order to vote for Trump; a long-haired journalist confronting Chinese Americans for Trump after moving to a battleground state; and a University of North Carolina professor teaching about race and racism in the U.S. A verité look at Chinese-American electoral organizing in North Carolina and Ohio presented by America ReFramed, the film weaves their stories from the presidential election of 2016 to the 2018 midterms, and explores the intersections between immigration, voting rights, and racial justice.
China: Frame by Frame
May 25, 10:00pm & May 27, 8:00pm, OPB World
When Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Bill Einreinhofer arrived in China more than 30 years ago, he had no idea it was the first of many visits. He would spend much of his professional career making stories in and about China, locating rare historical footage. He interviewed countless people about China, its culture, and its history. Many of those people are now gone, but their stories live on through him in China: Frame by Frame.
Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066
May 25, 11:00pm & May 26, 7:00pm, OPB World
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 forced incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans. The film also examines the parallels to the targeting of groups today and similar attempts to abuse the powers of the government.
Plague at the Golden Gate
May 26, 9:00pm, OPB World
In Plague at the Golden Gate, a documentary screening held as part of American Experience, viewers discover how an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1900 set off fear and anti-Asian sentiment in San Francisco, California. The episode tells the gripping story of the race against time by health officials to save the city from the deadly disease.
Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir
May 27, 5:00pm & 9:00pm, OPB World
Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir, an episode of American Masters, tells the story of the author whose debut novel, The Joy Luck Club, was published in 1989 to great commercial and critical success. With the 1993 blockbuster film adaption that followed, as well as additional best-selling novels, librettos, short stories, and memoirs, Tan firmly established herself as one of the most prominent and respected American literary voices working today. Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir is an intimate portrait of the groundbreaking author that interweaves archival imagery, including home movies and personal photographs; animation; and original interviews to tell the inspiring story of Tan’s life and career.
Armed With Language
May 28, 6:00pm & 10:00pm, OPB World
Minnesota was home to a little-known military intelligence school during World War II that trained Japanese Americans to be translators. Primarily recruited from concentration camps on the West Coast, these men and women served while many of their families remained imprisoned. For their efforts, it is said that the translators "shortened the Pacific War by two years and saved possibly a million American lives." Armed With Language, an episode of Minnesota Experience, airs on May 28.
Betrayed: Surviving an American Concentration Camp
May 28, 7:00pm & 11:00pm, OPB World
Discover the story of a group of Japanese Americans and their forced incarceration by the U.S. government during World War II in Betrayed: Surviving an American Concentration Camp. Through the compelling voices of survivors of Minidoka, a concentration camp in the Idaho desert, the film tells a universal story about unjust incarceration and the loss of civil rights.
May 28, 8:00pm, OPB World
The Registry breaks open the hidden history of the U.S. 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.
May 29, 9:00pm, OPB World
Today it is estimated there are nearly 2 million people dancing hula in Japan — a figure greater than the entire population of Hawai‘i. "Tokyo Hula," an episode of Pacific Heartbeat, examines how tourism, economics, and a love for all things Hawaiian have fuelled this cultural phenomenon by focusing on the personal stories of Japanese and Hawaiian master teachers who are now living and teaching in Japan.
"American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai‘i"
May 29, 10:00pm, OPB World
"American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai‘i," an episode of Pacific Heartbeat, 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 traditional to the contemporary, as it evolves on distant shores.
Asian American Stories of Resilience, Volume 2
May 29, 11:00pm & May 30, 7:00pm, OPB World
Asian American Stories of Resilience, Volume 2, presented by Local, USA, tells the story of two Filipinx cousins, one of which is filmmaker Bree Nieves, who grapples with what remains of their hometown dreams after the loss of one of their fathers during the pandemic. "Malditas" explores the possibilities of growing deeper in faith through grief while in the most conservative county in North Florida. In J.P. Dobrin’s "The Lookout," Chanthon Bun, who was convicted of second-degree robbery at age 19 and lost his legal protection to live in the U.S., must tread carefully as he attempts to legally reintegrate into society after being released from prison. If ICE were to locate him, he would be detained and slated for deportation.
The Donut King
May 29, 11:00pm, OPB
May 31, 9:30pm, OPB World
The Donut King, an episode of Independent Lens, tells the story of a Cambodian refugee who built a multi-million-dollar donut empire. An immigrant story with a (glazed) twist, the documentary film follows the journey of Ted Ngoy, who arrived in California in the 1970s and, through a mixture of diligence and luck, built a donut empire up and down the West Coast.
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