WORLD Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Four Documentary Features


Four programs highlight the diversity of AAPI experiences on WORLD: Ganden: A Joyful Land, The Accused: Damned or Devoted?, Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond
and Blurring the Color Line

WORLD, public media’s premiere platform for diverse documentary and non-fiction programs, is honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May with films that center Asian and Pacific Islander stories and perspectives in the United States and around the world. 

Key programming highlights for AAPI Heritage Month include Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond (Volume 1 & Volume 2), seven short films created by emerging Asian American documentary filmmakers; Ganden: A Joyful Land, a look at the lives of the remaining generation of monks to have studied at Tibetan Buddhism’s most influential monastery; The Accused: Damned or Devoted?, which follows a powerful cleric’s mission to preserve Pakistan’s blasphemy laws; and Blurring the Color Line, a personal exploration of the relationships between Chinese Americans and Black Americans in the Jim Crow era. 

In addition to the broadcast premiere of these films on WORLD's 193 multicast member stations across the United States, they will also be available to stream online at, WORLD's YouTube page and on the PBS app.  

“At WORLD, we recognize the incredible diversity among Asian American and Pacific Islander histories, traditions and communities, and we strive year round to bring a spectrum of AAPI stories to our audience,” said Chris Hastings, executive producer of WORLD at GBH in Boston. “This month, we have tapped some exceptionally talented AAPI filmmakers like Crystal Kwok for Blurring the Color Line and Mohammed Ali Naqvi for The Accused whose work helps to expand our understanding of AAPI lived experiences.” 

WORLD will premiere new films and offer encores of several others that illuminate AAPI history and history in the making. These films include:

Blurring the Color Line on America ReFramed
May 11 at 8pm ET on WORLD Channel, and YouTube and on the PBS app

Director Crystal Kwok unpacks the history behind her grandmother’s family, who were neighborhood grocery store owners in the Black community of Augusta, Georgia during the Jim Crow era. By centering women’s experiences, Kwok poses critical questions around the intersections of anti-Black racism, white power, and Chinese patriarchy in the American South.

Ganden: A Joyful Land on Doc World
May 14 at 10pm ET WORLD Channel,, YouTube and on the PBS app

Likened by Buddhists to the Vatican City, Ganden is considered the most influential monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. Monks lived in the monastery for more than 500 years before a brutal invasion drove them to India. Ganden: A Joyful Land is a look at the lives and remembrances of the remaining generation of monks to have studied at the monastery in Tibet where the Dalai Lama’s lineage began.

The Accused on Doc World 
May 21 at 10pm ET on WORLD Channel,, YouTube and on the PBS app

Powerful cleric Khadim Rizvi has one mission: to preserve blasphemy laws in Pakistan - they prescribe a death sentence for disrespecting the Prophet Muhammad. He is running for the country's highest office to carry out his goal, silencing anyone who tries to change the law with death. The film follows the rise of Rizvi’s push for power as people who have been accused are just pawns in his game.

Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond on Local, USA
Monday, May 22 and May 29 at 9pm ET on WORLD Channel,, YouTube and on the PBS app

Asian American Stories of Resilience and Beyond reflects the complexities of Asian American experiences: In Volume 1, Queer filmmaker Quyên Nguyen-Le recovers and articulates the legacy of their mother's nail salon for their refugee family, and Filipino-American filmmaker Frances Rubio captures the experience of being distanced from her sick father, who has been isolated in his facility during the pandemic. In Volume 2, Filipinx filmmaker Bree Nieves and her cousin grapple with what remains of their dreams, after losing one of their fathers during the pandemic; and Chanthon Bun, who lost his legal protection to live in the U.S. after conviction, must tread carefully after being released - ICE could deport him.

Additional AAPI Heritage Month content is available to stream online, on our YouTube channel, PBS Passport and the PBS app

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