America ReFramed

Finding Kukan

Season 06  Episode 10

Filmmaker Robin Lung documents her seven-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.