Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage: Documentaries & Cultural Links

Cultural Links

Anna May Wong: The first Asian American Movie Star

Documentaries & Cultural Links

Crossing Borders, Overcoming Barriers

Yeonmi Park escaped North Korea in 2007 and now lives in the U.S. Her speech at the One Young World forum has been viewed over 4 million times, and her book In Order to Live has become a bestseller. You can visit her at her website or her YouTube channel, "Voice of North Korea."

Chew-Een Lee was the first Asian-American Marine and overcame racial barriers to gain the respect of his fellow Marines. This short documentary shares an overview of his life. You can also read more in his New York Times obituary and on this Library of Congress site.

SERIES: Asian Americans

"Asian Americans" PBS documentary logo

2020 documentary available to stream FREE through Ivy Tech's subscription to Films On Demand!

PBS LogoAsian Americans is a five-hour film series that delivers a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever. As America becomes more diverse, and more divided while facing unimaginable challenges, how do we move forward together? 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.

Asian Americans: Breaking Ground

Episode 1: "Breaking Ground"

In an era of U.S. expansion, new immigrants arrive from China, India, Japan, the Philippines and beyond. Eventually barred by anti-Asian laws, they become America’s first “undocumented immigrants."

Asian Americans: A Question of Loyalty

Episode 2: "A Question of Loyalty"

An American-born generation straddles their birth country and their familial homelands in Asia. Family loyalties are tested during WWII, when Japanese Americans are held in detention camps and brothers are on opposite sides of the battle.

Asian Americans: Good Americans

Episode 3: "Good Americans"

During the Cold War years, Asian Americans are simultaneously heralded as a Model Minority, and suspected as the perpetual foreigner. It is also a time of ambition, as Asian Americans aspire for the first time to national political office.

Asian Americans: Generation Rising

Episode 4: "Generation Rising"

During a time of war and social tumult, a young generation fights for equality in the fields, on campuses and in the culture, and claim a new identity: Asian Americans. The aftermath of the Vietnam War brings new immigrants and refugees.

Asian Americans: Breaking Through

Episode 5: "Breaking Through"

At the turn of the millennium, Asian Americans have become the fastest growing population in the U.S. It is a time of tremendous change, as the country tackles urgent debates over immigration, race and economic disparity.

Silent Sacrifice: Stories of Japanese-American Incarceration

Silent Sacrifice: Part 1

Silent Sacrifice: Part 1

Silent Sacrifice: Part 2

Silent Sacrifice: Part 2

For more than 75 years, the story of Japanese Incarceration has been an untold chapter of American history. This documentary follows the politics of the country as WWII erupted — how American citizens of Japanese descent were affected, what their thoughts were in the face of Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war with Japan, Germany and Italy.