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last updated: 4/1/2013

Asian & Pacific Islander Documentaries

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Yellow tale blues: Two American families

Explores the experience of Asians in America through interviews with members of two Asian-American families, interspersed with images and stereotypes of Asians as portrayed in popular culture and film. Call Number: E184.O6 Y44 1990


Kelly loves Tony

Seventeen year-old Kelly Saeteurn has a dream--she calls it her "American dream." As a fresh high school graduate on her way to college she envisions a rosy future for herself, full of exciting opportunities granted by a college education. Kelly is the first in her family of Iu Mien refugees from Laos to have accomplished as much as she already has, but her dreams exist in sharp contrast to her reality. She is also pregnant. Her boyfriend Tony is a junior high drop out and ex-con whom she had met three months earlier at a shopping mall in Oakland, California. The honesty of this film's footage and dialogue offers viewers a rare glimpse into the lives of two young people struggling to make their relationship work in the face of overwhelming obstacles like parenthood, gender, culture and education.Call Number: E184.Y36 K457 1998


The Gate of Heavenly Peace

Revisits the Tiananmen Square incident of June 4, 1989 and explores the complex political process that led to the protests and the eventual Beijing massacre. Includes still photographs, eyewitness accounts, interviews, and newsreels. Call Number: DS779.32 .G37 1996 parts 1 & 2.


A.K.A. Don Bonus

Presents a self-portrait of a young Cambodian immigrant growing up in America today. Shows his struggles to graduate and survive his complicated life during his senior year of high school. Call Number: E184.K45 A177 1995


Camp Arirang

Explores United States GI camp prostitutes in South Korea. These camps were started during the Korean War, and sanctioned by the American and South Korean governments. Call Number: HQ248.A5 C364 1995


A forgotten people: the Sakhalin Koreans

Japan forcibly drafted and took 43,000 Koreans to Sakhalin Island to work in the deepest sections of the coal pits there. After Japan's defeat at the end of World War II, the Koreans on Sakhalin Island were then forced to work for the Russians. Now, only less than 1,000 still remain, forgotton even by their own homeland, as lives were lost in and around treaty talks, the cold war and global power struggles.Call Number: DK510.35.K67 F67 1995


Bui doi: Life like dust

Ricky Phan, a young adult Vietnamese immigrant currently serving time in prison for armed robbery, recounts his evolution from a 13 year old immigrant to a life of crime. He relates his immigration from a Vietnamese refugee camp to California, his entry into American schools, his subsequent involvement with Asian American gangs followed by criminal activity and prison.Call Number: E184.V53 B853 1994


Sa-i-gu 4.29

Explores the effect the Rodney King verdict and riot had on Korean American women shopkeepers who suffered more than half of the material losses in the conflict. Addresses the coverage by the media of the "Korean-Black" aspect of the rioting. Includes interviews with producers. Call Number: E184.K6 S253 1993


A Personal matter: Gordon Hirabayashi versus the United States

Presents the story of Gordon Hirabayashi and his struggle to uphold his civil rights during WWII when the United States interned all Asian-Americans.Call Number: D769.8.A6 P478 1992


Who's going to pay for these donuts anyway?

Chronicles the filmakers personal search for her father, whom she had not seen since age three. She finds him in a half-way house for the chronically mentally ill in Los Angeles' Skid Row. As a young man, he had been arrested by the FBI for opposing the Japanese-American internment and diagnosed as a schizophrenic. Film provides clear evidence of the profound effect of the Japanese American internment on generations of individuals.Call Number: D769.8.A6 W447 1992


A Family Gathering

Tells the dramatic story of the consequences of the U.S. internment policy and the Yasui family's long battle to reclaim their place as Americans. Call Number: D769.8.A6 F364 1988


Slaying the Dragon

Describes racial and gender stereotyping of Asian women in U.S. motion pictures as well as other media. Includes interviews with Asian historians, sociologists, actors, actresses and broadcasters.Call Number: PN1995.9.A78 S583 1987


Korean Americans

This program examines a major piece of the new American mosaic, Korean Americans. Seeking to retain their traditional cultural values while adjusting to life in the U.S., Korean Americans have come into frequent and violent conflict with inner-city African Americans, and have sought, through their own ethnic civic organizations, to overcome the rejection of the community around them. Call Number: E184.K6 K62 1994


Japanese American women: A sense of place

Japanese American women describe their experiences of growing up in America and being neither Japanese nor American and their search for a sense of ethnic identification. Call Number: E184.J3 J3358 1991


I'm on a mission from Buddha

With biting wit, humor, and insight, Lane Nishikawa's one man show considers current issues facing the Asian American community. Call Number: E184.O6 I495 1990


Voices of challenge: Hmong women in transition

The stories begin when they were young girls in Laos. Their families are forced to flee after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Surviving hunger and disease, they eventually settle in the United States. Through their stories, these women provide insight into the Southeast Asian refugee experience and the dramatic changes challenging them as they break from a traditional patriarchial family structure and assimilate into American society.Call Number: E184.H55 V653 1996


Halving the bones

Traces the filmmaker's journey into personal identity and the cultural interpretations of three generations of women. Call Number: E184.O6 H358 1995


Not a simple story: Out in Silence

Presents two stories of Asian Pacific Americans, gay and straight, male and female who have gone public about being HIV positive. Call Number: RA644.A25 N684 1994



Two lesbians, Afro- and Asian-American descent, share their experiences about how they have been treated as ethnic and sexual minorities. Call Number: HQ75.6.U5 E965 1990


Chen Ning Yang

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Chen Ning Yang discussess the cultural importance of science and scientific research and addresses the striking differences between the academic achievements in science of Asian-American students and Euro- American students. Interviewed by Bill Moyers. Call Number: QC175.5 .Y364 1988


Who killed Vincent Chin? a film

Focuses on racism in working-class America by examining the brutal murder of 27-year-old Vincent Chin, a Chinese- American, in a Detroit bar. Outraged at the suspended sentence that was given Ron Ebens, who bludgeoned Chin to death, the Asian-American community organized an unprecedented civil rights protest to successfully bring Ebens up for retrial. Interweaves the murder with social concerns and questions about justice. Call Number: HV6534.D4 W46 1989


Days of waiting the life and art of Estelle Ishigo

Documentary about artist Estelle Peck Ishigo, a Caucasian woman interned during World War II with her Japanese American husband at Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Wyo. Presents a vivid portrayal through her words and drawings and through photographs of the deprivations and humiliations of camp life, and the difficulties of readjustment at war's end. Call Number: D769.8.A6 D39 1990


Miss India Georgia

This documentary video follows four contestants in the Miss India Georgia pagent. It tells the story of their experiences as first generation americans. These young women disclose the complexity of their feelings about growing up in the US as children of immigrant parents. Call Number: HQ1219 .M579 1997


Forbidden city U.S.A

Documents the Forbidden City, a San Francisco nightclub of the 1930's and 1940's which featured Chinese American entertainers. Contains film clips of acts at the Forbidden City and interviews with performers and club owner Charlie Low. Call Number: F869.S39 F67 1989


Chinese gold : the Chinese of the Monterey Bay

Includes historic footage, photographs, and interviews with Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans which describe the struggle to survive that Chinese immigrants endured in the late 1800's and the early 1900's in the Monterey Bay Region. Also honors the Chinese immigrants' contribution to the area's successful railroad, fishing and agricultural industries as well as the economic development of the American West. Call Number: F870.C5 C55 1987


American Chinatown

Focuses on the last rural Chinatown in the United States, Locke, Calif., and on its farmhand inhabitants from Southern China. Documents the struggle between preservationists and developers to make the community a living historical landmark. Employs interviews, cinema verite, and montage of still photographs. Call Number: F869.L63 A54 1980


Hawaii's last queen

Tells the story of Lili'uokalani's life, her embattled reign as the queen of Hawaii, and the betrayal that led to the loss of their kingdom. Call Number: DU627.18 .H392 1997

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last updated: 4/1/2013