Finding Kukan

About This Episode


Filmmaker Robin Lung documents her 7-year journey investigating the work and legacy of Chinese American visionary Li Ling-Ai, the uncredited producer of Kukan. A landmark film, Kukan showcased China’s resistance to Japanese occupation during World War II, and was one of the first American feature documentary films to receive an Academy® Award in 1942.

Lung discovers a badly damaged film print of Kukan, which had been lost for decades, and pieces together the inspirational tale of the two renegades behind its making -- Li Ling-Ai and Rey Scott. Relentless, Ling-Ai was determined to shift America’s perception of the Chinese plight by telling the story from a new point-of-view and not only hired Scott but sponsored the rare enterprise. Finding Kukan uses vintage and unseen archival footage to create an unforgettable portrait of a filmmaking pioneer, and shed a light on the longstanding underrepresentation of women and people of color in the movie-making business.

Finding Kukan is a co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible.