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May 2014: Identity & Memorial Day

Posted by WMHT Web Editor

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

May 2 at 6pm & 9pm: Among B-Boys
Christopher Woon's first documentary feature explores the intersection of rugged urban bboyin' (breakdancing) and the traditional roots of Hmong culture. But instead of the usual generational conflict, Among B-Boys unveils a story of the modern and the traditional actually affirming each other, visually weaving between the older generation's memory of ethnicity and war and the younger generation's toprocks, footwork, freezes and power-moves. Woon focuses on three breakers - Impact and Vlln of Underground Flow, and Sukie of Velocity/Soul Rivals Crew-who reveal the path towards b-boy cultural citizenship in America, but continually steer us back to their families, history and community. Produced as a short in 2004 and originally focused on the California Central Valley, the feature film follows the expansion of the Hmong community into the Midwest, with its main protagonists now in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

May 2 at 7pm: Calling Tokyo
This documentary tells the unheralded story about a group of Japanese Americans, who as civilians served America during World War II, even as their families and friends were incarcerated in concentration camps. While the unequaled battle records of Japanese American soldiers are now legendary, little is known about the vital role played by these US citizens who did language translation work and short wave radio broadcasting to Japan, assisting in the war efforts of Britain and the USA. Through actual recordings and first-person interviews with the participants of those broadcasts, CALLING TOKYO is a fascinating story about a unique effort to help hasten the end of the war.

May 5 at 7pm: E Haku Inoa: To Weave a Name
Filmmaker Christen Marquez's drive to learn the meaning of her enigmatic Hawaiian name impels her to unite her scattered family and come to terms with her estranged, mentally ill mother, who is the only person in the world who knows the meaning of her name.

May 5 at 8pm: Pacific Heartbeat: Na Lani ‘Eha from ‘Iolani Palace—The Music of Hawaiian Royalty
This historic production brings together some of Hawai'i's most beloved musicians to perform songs composed by the last members of Hawai'i's ruling monarchy. 'Iolani Palace's executive director and curator provide a historical background of the royal palace - the only one of its kind in the United States - and the musicians explain the cultural significance of the royal repertoire.

May 9 at 6pm & 9pm: Mulberry Child
This film is the moving story of author Jian Ping's (Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China) coming of age as the daughter of a senior government official and her family's struggle to survive China's Cultural Revolution of 1966-1979. The story follows Jian's life through her present-day relationship with her American daughter, addressing universal issues between mother and daughter; triumph and adversity; and overcoming the immigrant challenges. Narrated by actress Jacqueline Bisset.

May 9 at 7pm: Global Voices: A Village Called Versailles
A Village Called Versailles is the incredible story of this little-known, tight-knit community in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. When the storm devastated New Orleans in August 2005, Versailles residents rebuilt their neighborhood faster than any other damaged neighborhood in the city, only to find themselves threatened by a new toxic landfill slated to open just two miles away. Forced out of Vietnam by the war 30 years ago, many residents felt their homes were being taken away from them once again.

May 9 at 8pm: Mr. Cao Goes to Washington
What happens when the naivete of a political rookie clashes with the realities of racial and partisan politics of the South? This film is a character study of Congressman Joseph Cao, a Vietnamese American Republican elected by surprise in an African American Democratic district in New Orleans. Will Cao make it through his term with his idealism intact?

May 11 at 5pm: China’s Challenges: Are the Chinese People Really Happy?

May 11 at 6pm: China’s Challenges: Where Is China’s Economy Going?

May 12 at 7pm: Japanese American Lives: Mrs. Judo—Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful
Using rare archival footage, intimate interviews and plenty of on-the-mat action, director Yuriko Gamo Romer eloquently brings to life the inspiring story of a remarkable woman and judo master. At a time when women went from childhood home to wife and homemaker, Keiko Fukuda made an unpopular choice and took a different path, saying, "This [Judo] was my marriage...this is when my life destiny was set." This documentary beautifully showcases the life of 99-year-old Sensei Fukuda, presenting her as not only a pioneer for women but as an inspiration to us all.

May 12 at 8pm : Pacific Heartbeat: Tonga—The Last Place on Earth
Tonga, an archipelago of 169 islands in the South Pacific, cut off from modernity as it is physically from the Western world. Each month, however, the United States deports ethnic Tongans convicted of murder, gang violence and other serious crimes to this peaceful island kingdom. Forced to leave behind spouses, children, and family in the U.S., the convicts arrive to an unfamiliar homeland and met by a community wary of their presence. The film explores whether Tonga can absorb this influx of hardened criminals and whether these men and women can adapt and survive in exile or revert to their violent ways.

May 16 at 6pm & 9pm: Independent Lens: Left by the Ship
JR, Charlene, Margarita and Robert are half American; they are among the many children born to U.S. servicemen who were stationed in military bases in the Philippines until 1992. Like most Filipino Amerasians, they were left behind by their biological fathers and largely forgotten. Over the course of two years, they delve into the psychological and social consequences of the U.S. military presence and its legacy.

May 18 at 5pm: China’s Challenges: Are the Chinese People “Real” Citizens?

May 18 at 6pm: China’s Challenges: China Can Produce, Can China Create?

May 19 at 7pm: Japanese American Lives: Don’t Lose Your Soul/Honor & Sacrifice
"Don't Lose Your Soul" by Jim Choi and Chihiro Wimbush - This documentary is an intimate portrait of Asian American musical legends bassist Mark Izu and Grammy-nominated drummer Anthony Brown, two founders of the Asian American Jazz Movement. Both have been revered throughout the Asian American community both as artists and community activities since the 1960's. "Honor & Sacrifice" by Lucy Ostrander - "Honor & Sacrifice" tells the complex story of a Japanese immigrant family ripped apart by WWII. The Matsumoto family included five sons; two who fought for the Americans and three who fought for the Japanese. The eldest, Hiroshi (Roy), became a hero, fighting against the Japanese with Merrill's Marauders, an American guerrilla unit in Burma.

May 19 at 8pm: Pacific Heartbeat: Let’s Play Music Slack Key with Cyril Pahinui and Friends
In this intimate backyard performance, master slack key musician Cyril Pahinui (featured in last season's "Waimea 'Ukulele and Slack Key Guitar") jams with some of the most talented musicians in Hawaii. The Oscar-winning film The Descendantsprominently featured the music of Cyril's father, Gabby "Pop" Pahinui, considered the "Godfather" of Hawaiian slack key guitar.

May 19 at 6pm & 9pm: Local, USA: Building an Identity 

May 21 at 7pm: Little Manila: Filiponos in California’s Heartland
The "Little Manilla" section of Stockton, Calif., filled with chop-suey houses, gambling dens and dance halls, served as the de facto hometown for displaced Filipinos at the turn of the 20th century. In its heyday, this lively area contained the largest population of Filipinos outside of the Philippines. LITTLE MANILLA: FILIPINOS IN CALIFORNIA'S HEARTLAND details the impact of Fillipino immigrants on the community from the 1930s to the present. Educators, historians, labor leaders and long-time residents recounts the immigrant story - the backbreaking farm work, low wages and racism - in Filipinos' pursuit of the American dream. The final part of the documentary examines the efforts to save Little Manila's last standing buildings.

May 25 at 5pm: China’s Challenges: What Do the Chinese People Believe?

May 25 at 6pm: Every Day Is a Holiday
Chinese-American filmmaker Theresa Loong creates an intimate portrait of her father, a man fifty years her senior. In this documentary, we explore the bonds of the father-daughter relationship and place themes of growing older, immigration and racism in the context of "living history." Paul Loong (American Legion member, retired Veterans Affairs doctor, practicing Catholic) talks of his experiences as a POW in Japan and his subsequent quest to become an American. We discover why, despite much suffering, "Every Day Is a Holiday."

May 26 at 7pm: Japanese American Lives: Stories from Tohuku
Two years after the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, survivors are still struggling to rebuild. The Japanese American community has continued to raise money and organize aid trips to the region. This powerful documentary explores both the endurance and frustration of the survivors and the hope inspired by the visitors. Olympic Gold medalist VGristi Yamaguchi is featured.

May 26 at 8pm: Pacific Heartbeat: Hula—Language of the Heart
The Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, a four-day competition and exhibition often referred to as the "Olympics of Hula," showcases the elegance, power and storytelling richness of this ancient art form. The program, which highlights the 2012 festival winners, presents an entertaining yet thought-provoking look at hula's role in the past, present and future of the Hawaiian people.

May 28 at 7pm: Forsaken Fields
FORSAKEN FIELDS documents what happened to the first and second generation of Japanese- American farmers after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Emmy award-winning journalist Jan Yanehiro interviews farmers who worked the land in California before the war, as well as those citizens who were incarcerated in relocation centers or forced to move to the interior of the United States by executive order. The program honors the Japanese-Americans who helped build California agriculture and explores the racism and intolerance that gripped the country at that time.

May 28 at 7:30pm: Indelible Lalita
Indelible Lalita tells the story of a beautiful woman whose resilient spirit survives her body's transformation by cancer, heart failure, and a dramatic loss of skin pigment. Meditatively flowing between surface and interior, the film follows Lalita as she migrates from Bombay to Paris to Montreal, and becomes completely White along the way. Lalita learns to let go of her body as the sign of her ethnicity and femininity, and ultimately realizes that her body is just a temporary vessel for her spirit.

May 30 at 6pm & 9pm: Passing Poston: An American Story
Between 1942 and 1945, The Poston Relocation Center in Arizona housed more than 18,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans, who worked as laborers to construct schools, farm the land and construct an irrigation system. PASSING POSTON: AN AMERICAN STORY recounts the moving and haunting stories of four former detainees. A tragic past haunts each person, now in the last chapter of their lives, as they struggle to reconcile the trauma of their youth. They also give voice to the sense of dislocation Japanese-Americans felt and how many of them still search and yearn to find their rightful place in the United States.

Veterans Returning Home

May 16 at 7pm: Long Road Home
Exploring the impact of wartime Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), LONG ROAD HOME offers compelling stories of Pittsburgh-area military veterans of Vietnam, Korea and World War II still coming to terms with the emotional wounds of war. The film explores successful therapies and documents the promising research underway at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where doctors study the sleep and brain patterns of PTSD sufferers and examine the reasons why women are twice as likely as men to develop the disorder. The program concludes on a hopeful note, with a visit to a weekend retreat for veterans dealing with PTSD and combat stress. United by their experiences, the former servicemen and women discuss their feelings, their struggles in civilian life, their need for closure and their optimism for the future.

May 16 at 8pm: Coming Back with Wes Moore: Coming Back
In episode one, host Wes Moore explores the questions surrounding the difficulty with the process of coming back from war. He meets Chris Phelan who was able to successfully translate his experience in the military to a career as a police officer. He is also raising his twoyear- old daughter River by himself, while his wife, Star Lopez, serves as a lawyer at the Afghan Embassy preparing to return home herself. When Andy Clark returned from war, he and his wife were faced with their son's diagnosis with autism and the costs of his care. Feeling financial pressure, Andy decides to accept a position as a military contractor that requires him to be in Afghanistan for months at a time. Letrice Titus works as a counselor in the Canandaigua VA Hospital where all the calls to the VA Veterans Crisis Line are routed. And Brad Farnsley is at a Warrior Transition Unit, a system established by the Army in 2007 to assist with the transitioning of soldiers they deem medically or psychologically unready for either duty or discharge. Anxious to return to his family for good, Brad is stuck by the complicated bureaucracy and his discharge date remains a mystery.

May 23 at 7pm: A Matter of Duty: The Continuing War Against PTSD
A Matter of Duty tells the stories of Maine soldiers who were deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Gulf War and the Vietnam War and returned home to face a new, relentless enemy: post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a condition that is not well understood here in Maine and it will have lasting implications for the entire state. It is a national epidemic. A Matter of Duty details Kennebec Sheriff Randy Liberty's personal battle with PTSD and several veterans in his charge at the Kennebec County Jail. Liberty's honesty about his own condition and his efforts to help other veterans vividly depicts the continuing impact of war on the men and women who have served our country. Jennifer Rooks, host and Executive Producer of Maine Watch and winner of two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, and Charles C. Stuart, a recipient the George Foster Peabody and Alfred Dupont awards and eight national television EMMYs, have joined forces in A Matter of Duty to tell this story of the continuing war at home known as PTSD.

May 23 at 8pm: Coming Back with Wes Moore: Fitting In
In episode two, host Wes Moore reflects on the idea of fitting in when you and the home you are returning to is fundamentally changed by war. Wes follows up with Andy Clark as he prepares to return to Afghanistan as a military contractor and Brad Farnsley as he struggles to accept his situation at the Warrior Transition Unit. He also meets Bobby Henline, who's body was more than 40 percent burned when his Humvee was hit by an IED and has since found himself on stage as a stand-up comedian. But he still struggles with PTSD, which is making it difficult to cope with his tumultuous family life and straining his relationship with his wife. Taylor Urruela lost his right leg to an IED two days before he was set to leave and now has a prosthetic limb. He now attends the University of Tampa to study Sports Management, while at the same time plans to try out for their baseball team. Earl Johnson is determined to use the skills he learned in the military to remake his neighborhood - Baltimore's infamous Oliver. Working with Operation Oliver, he cleans up trash, boards up abandoned homes, and works as a conduit between the police and drug dealers. But his zealous drive is putting a tremendous strain on his relationship with his wife, Zina. And his past military service also comes into question, revealing a series of secrets that even his wife is unaware of.

May 26 at 6pm & 9pm: Local, USA: Bringing the War Home

May 27 at 8pm: America ReFramed: Reserved to Fight
In May 2003, Fox Company of Marine Reserve Unit 2/23 returned home from front-line combat in Iraq. Reserved To Fight follows four Marines of Fox Company for four years through their postwar minefield of social and psychological reintegration into civilian life. The return to their communities proves as formidable a battle as the more literal firefights of previous months. Living among loved ones who don't yet understand them and how they have changed, contending with a media focused on the politics rather than the human experience of war, and suffering from a psychological disorder that is difficult to acknowledge, these young veterans grapple to find purpose and healing.

May 30 at 7pm: War Zone/Comfort Zone
Women account for roughly 14 percent of the active-duty U.S. military and more than 24 percent of the National Guard, yet they often receive less than a hero's welcome upon their return to civilian life. Many face poverty, homelessness and joblessness; deal with the psychological and physiological effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from military sexual trauma and combatrelated injuries; and often receive poor service from a Veterans Administration ill-equipped and, in some cases, unwilling to help them. The Emmy?? - nominated documentary WAR ZONE/COMFORT ZONE uncovers the plight of these veterans through the intense and personal stories of four women veterans coping with life after their military service. Each seeks a sense of normalcy and peace without the benefit of a comprehensive support system. WAR ZONE/COMFORT ZONE weaves together intimate interviews with the story of two women - Shalini Madaras and Joy Kiss - struggling to establish transitional housing for homeless female veterans in Bridgeport, Connecticut, despite virulent community opposition.

May 30 at 8pm: Coming Back with Wes Moore: Moving Forward
In episode three, host Wes Moore highlights the drive veterans often have of finding a new mission. Revisiting Taylor Urruela, his immediate mission is succeeding in the competitive tryouts for the University of Tampa baseball team, despite the fact that he's missing a leg. He is also finding meaning in Vet Sports, an organization he co-founded that helps veterans socialize through playing a variety of sports. Bobby Henline is still on his new mission of helping others through his comedy, but his PTSD is still interfering with his home life. His personal mission is to overcome this and fix his relationship with his family. Earl Johnson, whose lies have caught up with him in the previous episode, struggles to keep his mission of revitalizing the Oliver. Tammy Duckworth, currently a Congresswoman from Illinois, was a helicopter pilot in Iraq and the survivor of a crash that caused her to lose both of her legs. In honor of those who saved her, Tammy now has a mission to continue serving the public and be a voice for her fellow vets. Finally, Wes meets Stacy Pearsall who was a war photographer who was hit by an IED in Iraq and now suffers with mild brain damage. Though she was told she'd never be able to be the photographer she once was, she now travels the country taking portraits of veterans as part of the Veteran's Portraits Project.

Memorial Day

May 22 at 7pm: NOVA: Bombing Hitler’s Dams
In 1943 a squadron of Lancaster bombers staged one of the most audacious raids in history -- destroying two gigantic dams in Germany's industrial heartland and cutting the water supply to arms factories -- with a revolutionary bouncing bomb invented by British engineer Barnes Wallis. Wallis and the pilots of 617 Squadron -- a lively mix of Britons, Australians, Americans and Canadians -- were hailed as heroes and dealt a mighty blow to the German war machine. In this program, NOVA recreates the extreme engineering challenges faced by Wallis and the pilots with the aid of six spectacular experiments. A crack team of experts including dam engineers, explosives specialists, mechanics and aircrew step into the shoes of the Dambusters and attempt to overcome each obstacle in turn.

May 23 at 6pm & 9pm: A Company of Heroes
Easy Company, the 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, widely known as the "Screaming Eagles," remains one of the most revered combat units in U. S. military history. The Army company's legendary exploits in World War II inspired Stephen Ambrose's book, Band of Brothers, and the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries of the same name. Following two years of hard training, the soldiers of Easy Company parachuted into Normandy on D-Day and, later, into Holland for Operation Market Garden. They fought their way through Belgium, France and Germany, survived overwhelming odds, liberated concentration camps, and drank a victory toast in April 1945 at Hitler's hideout in the Alps. In 2009, 20 of the few remaining survivors from Easy Company shared their rarely told stories of sacrifice and courage for Marcus Brotherton's oral-history book project, We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories From the Band of Brothers. In A COMPANY OF HEROES, those same veterans - along with the families of three deceased others - recount the horrors and the victories, the bonds they made, the tears and blood they shed, and the friends they lost.

May 27 at 9:30pm: A Gathering of Heroes
In 2004, the United States dedicated a long-awaited memorial to the 16 million men and women who served in the armed forces during World War II, the 400,000 who died in Europe and the Pacific and those who toiled in factories on the home front. A GATHERING OF HEROES recounts the touching and inspirational story of World War II veterans from Indiana who embarked on a cross-country trek to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorial which honors their sacrifice. On the 12-hour bus ride, the veterans (most in their 80s and 90s) reminisce about their war experiences, sharing their emotional tales of struggle and survival.

May 29 at 6pm & 9pm: D-Day Uncovered
D-Day was a logistical effort on a scale never seen before or since. On the day itself, 14,000 planes dropped 23,000 airborne troops behind German lines, and 5,000 ships delivered 30,000 military vehicles and 160,000 soldiers onto the beaches. Once on the shore, the troops had to negotiate six million mines buried in the sand, 500, 000 fearsome beach obstacles and hundreds of miles of barbed wire, while dodging the shells and bullets fired by half-a-million German defenders. This film takes advantage of LiDAR technology to re-create the landscape and allow viewers to switch effortlessly between the macro and the micro - pulling back for the big picture and zooming in to a close-up of a single soldier on the battlefield.

May 29 at 7pm: NOVA: D-Day’s Sunken Secrets
On June 6, 1944, the Allies launched the biggest armada in history to invade the Normandy beaches and liberate Europe from the Nazis. In less than 24 hours, more than 5,000 ships crossed the English Channel, along with thousands of tanks and landing craft and nearly 200,000 men. Throughout the operation hundreds of ships sank running the gauntlet of mines and bunkers, creating one of the world's largest underwater archaeological sites. Now, NOVA has exclusive access to a unique collaboration between military historians, archaeologists, and specialist divers to carry out the most extensive survey ever done of the seabed bordering the legendary beachheads. Dive teams, submersibles, and underwater robots discover and identify key examples of the Allied craft that fell victim to German shellfire, mines and torpedoes. The team uses the latest 3D mapping tools to plot the relics on the sea floor. Highlighting the ingenious technology that helped the Allies overcome the German defenses, "D-Day's Sunken Secrets" unfolds a vivid blow-by-blow account of the tumultuous events of DDay and reveals how the Allies' intricate planning and advanced technology was vital to assure the success of the most ambitious and risky military operation ever launched.

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