Sunday, May 2, at 7pm on WGBH World
Airlifted out of Vietnam on April 30, 1975, Doan Hoang’s family was on the last civilian helicopter out of the country at the end of the war. Twenty-five years later, they return to Vietnam after decades of exile, where her father, a former South Vietnamese major, meets his brothers again to confront their political differences: one was a communist, the other a pacifist. Meanwhile, Hoang tries to reconcile her own difficult past with her half-sister, who was mistakenly separated from the family during the escape.
Sunday, May 2, at 10pm on WGBH World
In recent years, the ancient art of sumo has witnessed an increasing number of foreigners rising to the top of its professional ranks. From Hawaii to Atlantic City, the experiences of American wrestlers provide an entertaining glimpse at the past, present, and future of sumo.
Monday, May 3, at 7pm on WGBH World
The famous fighting monks of the Shaolin monastery have seen a resurgence throughout the world, aided in part by the popularity of kungfu movies among the hip-hop set and films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The film follows a handful of Shaolin monks who have brought the style to America, chronicling their adventures in New York City, Houston and Las Vegas.
Monday, May 3, at 8pm on WGBH World
As a young boy in the 1970s, Arn Chorn-Pond survived Cambodia's brutal Khmer Rouge Killing Fields by playing propaganda songs on the flute. Now, after living in America for 20 years, Arn embarks on an emotional journey back to Cambodia to seek out "master musicians" who survived the genocide and to face the dark shadows of his war-torn past.
Tuesday, May 4, at 7pm on WGBH World
Delve into the little-known history of California’s Japanese American farmers before, during, and after they were forced into US internment camps, along with 120,000 other persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Interspersing vivid footage of camp life, painful recollections of property loss and the racial discrimination they faced as they returned to their farms, this moving documentary captures the emotional complexity and resiliency of a community determined to survive one of the darker chapters in national history.
Friday, May 7, at 7:30pm on WGBH World
The California Delta, in the heart of the state, is the only place in America where the Chinese have maintained a sustained presence for nearly a century and a half. Here, immigrants from China transformed swampland into one of the richest agricultural regions. See archival imagery, actor-portrayed re-creations, and personal family accounts in this powerful lesson of triumph over adversity.
Sunday, May 9, at 7pm on WGBH 2
The First Battle documents how, during World War II, 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry on the US mainland were interned, while 160,000 people of Japanese ancestry in Hawaii were able to go about their lives. This documentary reveals that mass internment could very well have occurred if not for a few twists of fate and the foresight and bravery of a small network of men in Hawaii.
Sunday, May 9, at 10pm on WGBH World
For the past 15 years, Nguyen Van Hung, once a homeless drug addict, has dedicated his life to helping street children survive AIDS in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. “Teacher” is the story of one man’s fight against an epidemic that claims its victims by the millions and the innocent children and teenagers struck by the reality of a global nightmare.
Sunday, May 9, at 11pm WGBH World
This program chronicles one man’s journey from the food-filled streets of San Francisco to the back streets of Saigon as he searches for the secret ingredient to blend the traditions of his family’s culture with his adopted American life.
Monday, May 10, at 7:30pm WGBH World
Narrated by Grammy award-winner Paul Horn, Fiji Firewalkers explores Fiji’s people, land and culture, with a special emphasis on the legendary firewalkers of Beqa Island. The program captures the voices of the Fijian people and the sights and sounds of their Pacific homeland. Rich in colorful, vibrant music and cultural tradition, Fiji Firewalkers chronicles the origin of a Polynesian people whose civilization dates back to 700 BC. Ancient pottery-making techniques still used today are documented, along with a village-wide fishing drive, plus kava and firewalking ceremonies.
Monday, May 10, at 8pm on WGBH World
Against the backdrop of China’s stunning Three Gorges, this documentary tells the story of a powerful river that for centuries has helped shape the evolution of Chinese civilization — but today faces its greatest challenge. In 1994, the People’s Republic of China approved the construction of the world’s largest dam and hydroelectric power plant across this legendary river. Made without government authorization, Great Wall takes viewers into the heart of China and explores the controversy behind the dam project, told by the people most affected.
Sunday, May 16, at 7pm on WGBH 2
Friday, May 28, at 6pm and 9pm on WGBH World
After the Pearl Harbor attack, Nebraska farmer Ben Kuroki volunteered for the US Army Air Corps. He would become the first Japanese-American war hero, surviving 58 missions as an aerial gunner over Europe, North Africa and Japan. Through interviews and rare, never-before-seen footage, Most Honorable Son recounts one man's remarkable journey through World War II, providing context to two seemingly disparate histories: the US air war and the Japanese American experience.
Sunday, May 16, at 10pm on WGBH World
Raised as Americans in inner-city projects near Seattle, three young Cambodian refugees each made a rash decision as a teenager that irrevocably shaped his destiny. Years later, facing deportation back to Cambodia, they find themselves caught between a tragic past and an uncertain future by a system that doesn’t offer any second chances.
Sunday, May 16, at 11pm on WGBH World
Mike Siv is going to meet his father and brother for the first time since he escaped Cambodia as a child, but, the journey takes an unexpected turn. Days before Mike’s departure, he learns that his father is remarried and has another family, and his younger brother was raised by an aunt. Mike’s vision of his family is shattered. As he puts it, “That’s a whole lotta truth. I learned more about my family in that one hour than I heard in my whole life.”
Monday, May 17, at 7pm on WGBH World
Few events of the 20th century have dramatically engulfed so large a proportion of humanity as China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). Violence and disorder were widespread, and it is estimated that half a million Chinese died as a direct result. Yet the Cultural Revolution remains only barely understood; this program explores the historical and ethical questions raised.
Sunday, May 23, at 10pm on WGBH World
China Blue takes viewers inside a blue jeans factory in southern China, where teenage workers struggle to survive harsh working conditions. The film follows 17-year-old Jasmine as she leaves her home village for a low-paying job in the city. Providing perspectives from both the top and bottom of the factory’s hierarchy, the film looks at complex issues of globalization from the human level.
Sunday, May 23, at 11pm on WGBH World
Through a journey that takes her back to her roots in Thailand, a young Mien woman from Sacramento strives to come to terms with her father’s death and drug addiction and her sister’s murder. Reunited with her Mien relatives, she begins to grasp the complexity of her father’s past and to experience the nuances of lost identity.
Wednesday, May 26, at 7pm on WGBH World
This transformational 17-day road trip tracks fearless, irreverent Binh Rybacki and her Children of Peace medical team as they move from the northern remote mountains of Vietnam to the fast-changing streets of Hanoi, Hue, and Saigon. Traveling at an exhausting pace, the team relocates and sets ups clinics on a daily basis, sometimes forced to change plans at the last moment as Binh duels with Communist government officials. As we travel the length of Vietnam, Binh’s story unfolds in a journey not just for Binh, but for anyone touched by memories of the Vietnam War.
Wednesday, May 26, at 8pm on WGBH World
Thursday, May 27, at 9pm on WGBX 44
On the eastern edge of New Orleans, a community of Vietnamese refugees has thrived for 30 years in a neighborhood they call Versailles. This film recounts the residents’ successful fight against the opening of a toxic government-imposed landfill after Hurricane Katrina struck and transformed their neighborhood.
Sunday, May 30, at 10pm on WGBH World
Meet eight young Vietnamese, some born in the final days of the Vietnam War, others in its aftermath, who together embody the hopes, dreams and challenges of a new Vietnam. Through their stories, this groundbreaking film takes an in-depth look at modern-day Vietnam.
Sunday, May 30, at 11pm on WGBH World
Watch the stories of three generations of Hmong refugees as they struggle with personal and political legacies. The Xiong family, who fought on America’s side of the “secret” war in Laos, tries to claim its own piece of the American dream, while Hmong-American Ka Ying Yang tries to understand her own similar family history.