History

POLDARK SEASON 2 ON MASTERPIECE
Part 1 of 9

 

Aidan Turner stars as Ross Poldark, a redcoat who returned to Cornwall after the American Revolution to discover that his father is dead, his lands are ruined, and his true love is engaged to another. Though encouraged to pack up and make a new life elsewhere, the stubborn hero resolves to change his destiny and restore his lost fortune. Season 2 brings a new series of challenges, as Poldark is falsely accused and behind bars.

 

Part 1 of 9
George Warleggan rolls out a plan to take care of Poldark once and for all. Demelza tries to influence a hanging judge.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
The Great War, Part 1 of 3

 

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the war on April 6, 1917, this three-part, six-hour documentary tells the rich and complex story of World War I through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as “doughboys.” The series explores the experiences of African American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American code talkers and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten.

 

Part 1 of 3
Explore America’s tortured, nearly three-year journey to war. Reports of German atrocities and submarine attacks on American ships erode neutrality, finally leading to President Woodrow Wilson’s proclamation that “the world must be made safe for democracy.”

 

 

GLOBE TREKKER
Wild West, USA

 

In this Globe Trekker special, Zay Harding, Sami Sabiti, Holly Morris, Justine Shapiro and Ian Wright explore the extraordinary history of America’s spectacular Wild West. Sami starts the journey by following Lewis & Clark’s 3700 mile journey of exploration from 1804, Zay visits the location of the most famous siege in the history of the Wild West – the Alamo, Justine visits the site of the first discovery of the California Gold Rush, Holly joins the annual re-ride of the 2000 mile Pony Express route, and Ian heads to the Little Bighorn battlefield in Montana, the site of Custer’s famous Last Stand in 1876.

 

 

ERIE: The Canal that Made America

 

The Erie Canal released the promise of a new nation. The canal’s impact on America and beyond is comparable to the global impact of the Internet. lt transformed the national patterns of immigration and commerce, created the financial capital of the world, left the Mississippi and the port of New Orleans in the dust of its immediate success, and transported new ideas and social movements.

 

 

JOSEPH ROSENDO’S TRAVELSCOPE
Armenia – Ancient History and Modern Traditions, Part 1

 

Joseph crisscrosses Armenia to ancient sites where some of the world’s oldest artifacts have been discovered. From roadside fruit stands to riverside wine stalls and bustling markets, Joseph is welcomed into local homes to witness traditional artisans at work and join in religious and communal celebrations.

 

 

How Finding Kukan Was Found

 

By Liberty Peralta

 

Finding Kukan makes its Hawai‘i broadcast debut, Thursday, June 28 at 9 pm. The documentary tells the story of Li Ling-Ai, a female film producer from Hawai‘i who was uncredited for her work on an Oscar-winning documentary about World War II in China called Kukan. A full copy of Kukan has long been missing, while Ling-Ai’s story has gone untold for decades. Both mysteries are unraveled over a seven-year journey on Finding Kukan.

 

The producer and director of Finding Kukan, Robin Lung, spoke with us by phone about the film.

 

Robin Lung
Robin Lung, producer and director of Finding Kukan

 

PBS Hawaiʻi: How did you come across Li Ling-Ai’s story?

Robin Lung: I read Li Ling-Ai’s memoir, Life is for a Long Time, about her physician parents in early 20th century Hawai‘i. I was searching for a Chinese American woman to profile, and I was really interested in the ’30s and ’40s, so I was researching women of that era. There was a biography of Li Ling-Ai on the book’s jacket flap that said that she had worked on this film Kukan that had won an Academy Award. I had never heard of Kukan or Li Ling-Ai before I read her memoir, so that really piqued my interest.

 

How did you come across her memoir?

I had been reading these vintage mystery novels that a friend of mine from New York sent me. They’re written by Juanita Sheridan, and they feature a Chinese American female detective named Lily Wu who solved crime in New York City and Hawai‘i. In an interview, Juanita Sheridan said that she based Lily Wu on some real life friends of hers from Hawai‘i; she had lived in Hawai‘i in the 1930s. That really caught my attention because Lily Wu is not your stereotypical shy, submissive Asian woman. She’s really smart, she’s really independent and audacious. This detective captured my imagination, and I wanted to find out who the real-life woman she was based on might be. I did a lot of research and that’s how I came across Li Ling-Ai’s memoir.

 

If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences [which oversees the Oscars] didn’t have a copy of Kukan, how many other Oscar-winning films did they not have?

Kukan is the only Oscar-winning documentary that the Academy didn’t have a copy of. It was very unusual for them not to have a copy of this documentary because they actively collect their Oscar-winning films. That was another question that I wanted to explore in my film: Why did it get lost? We structured it as a detective story on purpose because we couldn’t find definitive answers for a lot of the questions that I asked. Shirley Thompson, who acted as the editor on the film, worked closely with me for five years. The film that I wanted to make is not the film that we ended up with, and that was because circumstances prevented me from having my ideal world. [laughs]

 

What did that ideal story look like?

The story of Li Ling-Ai and her filmmaking partner Rey Scott, and how they made Kukan, is like this Cinderella story. Two novices with no experience in filmmaking, on a whim, decide to make this film about what’s happening in China, and it ends up winning an Academy Award and is shown at the White House for President Roosevelt. My ideal story in my head was that I was going to find out every single detail about this story, and I was going to present it as a very conventional historical documentary, much like the Ken Burns documentaries.

 

Li Ling-Ai and Rey Scott in front of the Clay Theater for the San Francisco premiere of Kukan, 1941

 

You had to let go of what you wanted this to look like and let it transform into something else. What was the takeaway for you in doing that?
You’re not in control of your material a lot of the time. You have to work with what you have and what you get. That challenge in how to make something with the limited palette of material you have is what sparks new creativity. That’s the fun part of filmmaking.

 

I also learned so much about how history is told and who gets to tell history. It’s activated me to preserve our own local history because I see that there’s this master narrative that comes from people in power. Our island stories are vulnerable to disappearing over time because the powers-that-be are not working hard to ensure that those stories get carried forward. If we don’t tell our own stories, and we don’t work hard to preserve the material that can tell those stories, then no one else will.

 

Perhaps there’s someone reading this who might not identify as a storyteller, but may be motivated to help preserve our stories. What can they do?

I came across this story after Li Ling-Ai and Rey Scott had passed away. As I tried to interview people, a lot of times I would connect with them too late; they would have just passed away right before I met them. I think that’s a very common problem that we all face, that we don’t think to ask questions of our elders until it’s too late. There are so many rich stories in everybody’s family.

Also, the questions that are important historically are sometimes things that older people don’t want to talk about. They’re tough times, and those are stories that we need to learn lessons from. Finding Kukan is a bittersweet film because I do find out amazing things, but there are certain things that I’ll never be able to know.

What I would hope that people will do after seeing this film is that they sit down and talk with their elders. Take out an iPhone or a tape recorder and have it rolling when they ask, “What did you do in the war?” or “Why did we move to Hawai‘i?” Those basic questions that they want to know more about and really want to get the answers to.

_____
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

 

NHK World-Japan and PBS Hawaiʻi to air documentary on 442nd Infantry Regiment

Also in commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of Japanese immigrants to Hawaiʻi, a second two-part program relevant to Japanese-Americans to Air in August

 

HONOLULU—NHK WORLD-JAPAN, the English-language channel operated by Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, today announced it will host a special screening of “Rescuing the Lost Battalion –The Story behind the ‘Heroes,’” a documentary that recounts the story behind the 442nd Infantry Regiment of Japanese American soldiers who rescued a battalion of fellow US troops surrounded by German forces in France during the latter part of World War II. These Nisei soldiers became instant heroes—but at a steep cost. “Rescuing the Lost Battalion” will air on PBS Hawai‘i and NHK WORLD-JAPAN in August 2018.

 

NHK WORLD-JAPAN and PBS Hawai‘i will present the documentary at a screening on Tuesday, June 5 at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i in Honolulu, as part of Gannenmono, a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaiʻi. Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i’s president and CEO, will serve as emcee for the screening, and Yoichiro Sasagawa, NHK director of “Rescuing the Lost Battalion,” will provide remarks and participate in a question-and-answer session following the closing credits.

 

“I am honored to bring this important documentary from NHK WORLD-JAPAN to the US, enabling viewers to be enlightened by this significant piece of history,” said Yoichiro Sasagawa. “The documentary was completed with the strong support of veterans and their families, as well as many organizations and individuals related to this part of history. By telling the story of the 442nd Infantry Regiment to not only Americans and Japanese, but to young generations around the world, I hope to offer an opportunity for everyone to think about war itself.”

 

Also coinciding with Gannenmono, this summer NHK WORLD-JAPAN will air a two-part program of relevance to Hawaiʻi, and in particular to its Japanese American residents. The specials, airing on June 30 and July 7, 2018, examine the lives of local Japanese Americans who have built their rich culture over the past 150 years, and continue this lifestyle in Hawaiʻi. These specials will air on PBS Hawaiʻi on July 2 at 5 pm and July 9 at 5 pm.

 

“We are very pleased to co-host this screening with NHK WORLD-JAPAN. This historically important documentary and other NHK WORLD-JAPAN programming are of great interest to our Hawaii viewers,” said Wilcox. “We are honored to work closely on this with the Japan America Society of Hawaii, the Nisei Veterans Legacy, and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i, and we’re thrilled that this event is part of the Gannenmono celebration.”

 

Carried throughout the U.S. since 2009, with Hawaiʻi one of its first carriage markets, the growth of NHK WORLD-JAPAN has been particularly strong in major U.S. markets. The 24/7 broadcast station also reaches viewers through affiliates in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Denver, Orlando, Charlotte and Baltimore.

 

 

About NHK WORLD-JAPAN

NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) is Japan’s sole public broadcaster, operating the nation’s largest domestic and international television network. In Japan, NHK broadcasts four TV channels and three radio stations. NHK also transmits two international television channels, NHK WORLD-JAPAN (English, HD, 24/7) and NHK WORLD PREMIUM (Japanese, HD, 24/7), as well as international radio services in eighteen languages.

 

NHK WORLD-JAPAN reaches over 300 million households in 160 countries and regions via local satellite and cable TV providers. Online live streaming and VOD (video on-demand) services through the free mobile app and the website, give viewers access to NHK WORLD-JAPAN anywhere and anytime. You can also connect through Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Presenting an extensive range of Asia-centered programming, NHK WORLD-JAPAN is your window to Japan, Asia, and the rest of the world. For more details, visit https://www.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/

 

About Japan International Broadcasting, Inc.

Japan International Broadcasting Inc. (JIB), a subsidiary of NHK, is responsible for the worldwide distribution of the HD English language news/lifestyle channel “NHK WORLD-JAPAN,” as well as the HD Japanese language channel “NHK WORLD PREMIUM.” Currently, the two channels are broadcast around the world on three international plus domestic satellites in their respective markets and reach households, hotels and others via DTH, cable, IPTV, and terrestrial broadcast.

 

About PBS Hawai‘i

PBS Hawai‘i is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Hawai‘i’s sole member of the trusted Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). We advance learning and discovery through storytelling that profoundly touches people’s lives. We bring the world to Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i to the world. For more information, please visit pbshawaii.org, facebook.com/pbshawaii or on Twitter: @pbshawaii

 

CONTACT: Jim Boyle, jim@boylepublicaffairs.com, 571-213-3979

 

ORCHARD HOUSE:
Home of Little Women

 

ORCHARD HOUSE: HOME OF LITTLE WOMEN is a captivating new documentary that transports viewers to a 350-year-old home in Concord, Massachusetts with literary and historical significance unlike any other. It is here that the classic novel, Little Women, was written and set. With a nurturing, talented family as owners and literary giants Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne as neighbors, Orchard House uniquely inspired Louisa May Alcott to write Little Women at a desk in her room that her father made especially for her. The documentary uncovers a fascinating piece of living history — a pilgrimage site for scholars and fans alike. This enduring and lively house speaks to the power of place in a way few American homes ever have. It also reveals the powerful historical, literary, and very human elements of the home and the people who lived there. ORCHARD HOUSE chronicles its history through archival photographs, letters and journal entries from one of the most well-documented families in American literary history, along with interviews of scholars and fans — including world class artists, Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, and first-time visitors — in this entertaining and informative family-friendly film.

 

 

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