Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Posted on Apr 27, 2021

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Celebrate with our specially curated Austin PBS programming.

American Masters: Amy Tan - Unintended Memoir
Explore the life of the groundbreaking author of The Joy Luck Club in this intimate portrait. Archival imagery, home movies, photographs, animation and original interviews create a vivid, colorful journey through Tan’s inspiring life and career.
Monday, May 3 at 8 p.m. & Sunday, May 9 at 1 p.m. on Austin PBS

Pacific Heartbeat: The Australian Dream
This documentary unravels the remarkable and inspirational story of Indigenous AFL legend Adam Goodes to tell a deeper and more powerful story about race, identity and belonging. The film unpacks the events of the 2013-15 AFL seasons and asks fundamental questions about racism and discrimination in society today.
Monday, May 3 at 10 p.m. on Austin PBS

An intimate profile of Vietnamese-American chef Tu David Phu and the evolution of his culinary aesthetic, borne from a bloodline that traces back through childhood and his family's unspoken history of war. The film's narrative is framed around Tu as he returns home to Oakland, California after competing on the cooking series Top Chef (Season 15), with illuminating conversations between Tu and his parents on their initial reservations about his career path, their pride in his success in the food industry and how their experiences during the Vietnam War influenced Tu's upbringing and cooking style.
Friday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. on Austin PBS

Antiques Roadshow: Celebrating Asian Pacific Heritage
Travel with Roadshow as it turns the spotlight on incredible items with Asian and Pacific Islands origins, including a Hawai’ian kou bowl, a Ghandi presentation spinning wheel and an 1888 Joseph Nawahi painting. Which is valued at $250,000-$300,000?
Monday, May 10 at 8 p.m. on Austin PBS

Pacific Heartbeat: American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai’i
Watch the the stories of three kumu hula (master instructors) who direct hula schools based in California. The film explores the challenges they face trying to perpetuate hula faithfully, from the very traditional to the contemporary, as it evolves on distant shores. Their stories serve as a reminder of the power of tradition for communities creating a home away from home.
Monday, May 10 at 10 p.m. on Austin PBS

Chinese Qipao
Shanghai socialites in the 1920's and 30's made the body hugging qipao and cheongsam dresses famous. Today, they are still a part of Chinese fashion houses who combine both tradition and contemporary artistry in their couture and casual designs. Colleen Quen, a couturier and artist living in San Francisco, and fashion designer Arkadiy Polezhaev from San Jose, California, travel to Shanghai, China to discover how this fashion staple is more than just a dress.
Friday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. on Austin PBS

Pacific Heartbeat: For My Father’s Kingdom
Follow Tongan pensioner Saia Mafile’o and his family as they are stretched to the breaking point by the commitment and passion to God that has driven Saia’s life. This debut feature documentary offers a rich view of how contemporary secular families deal with the rigors of devout Christian tithing, as well as a unique insight into traditional Tongan culture.
Monday, May 17 at 10 p.m. on Austin PBS

Decibel: Blending Perspectives/Asian American DACA Recipients/The Beauty of Tradition
A local artist finds a way to blend her worlds on the canvas. Then, Asian American DACA recipients share their stories. And how one man is keeping the tradition of nail salons alive.
Friday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. on Austin PBS

Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story
August of 1943, the last surviving clandestine radio operator in Paris desperately signaled London. Everything depended on her and the Gestapo was at the door. How did a Sorbonne educated musician and author of a book of fairy tales become a daring spy who died fighting the Nazis? With an American mother and Indian Muslim father, Noor Inayat Khan was an extremely unusual British agent, and her life spent growing up in a Sufi center of learning in Paris seemed an unlikely preparation for the dangerous work to come. Yet it was in this place of universal peace and contemplation that her remarkable courage was forged. When the Nazi's invaded France, she joined Britain's Women's Auxiliary Air Force, and was recruited as spy, going to Paris to support the French Underground.
Saturday, May 22 at 11:30 p.m. on Austin PBS

Independent Lens: The Donut King
An immigrant tale with a (glazed) twist, this documentary follows the journey of Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy, who arrived in California in the 1970s and, through a mixture of diligence and luck, built a multi-million dollar donut empire up and down the West Coast. Hard knocks, redemption, wealth, survival, risk and donuts — Ngoys’s life story has it all.
Monday, May 24 at 9 p.m. on Austin PBS

Pacific Heartbeat: Tokyo Hula
Today it’s estimated there are nearly 2 million people dancing hula in Japan — a figure greater than the entire population of Hawai'i. This documentary examines how tourism, economics and a love for all things Hawai’ian have fueled this cultural phenomenon by focusing on the personal stories of Japanese teachers who have started their own schools and Hawai’ian master teachers who are now living and teaching in Japan.
Monday, May 24 at 10:30 p.m. on Austin PBS

The Registry
This film breaks open the hidden history of the U.S. Army's Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II — a story made possible because of a few aging Japanese American veterans with a little internet savvy and a lot of determination.
Sunday, May 30 at 10 p.m. on Austin PBS

Pacific Heartbeat: Stan
This breathtakingly honest and brave documentary follows 26-year-old musician Stan Walker as he fights a rare cancer caused by a genetic mutation that has killed 25 members of his family. Facing his diagnosis with humor and determination, he embarks on a mission to seek aggressive treatment and convince his family members who carry the gene that they need to face their potential fate.
Monday, May 31 at 10 p.m. on Austin PBS

Reel South: Seadrift
In 1979, a fatal shooting ignites a maelstrom of hostilities against Vietnamese refugee fishermen along the Gulf Coast. Set during the early days of Vietnamese refugee arrival in the U.S., Seadrift examines this turbulent yet little-seen chapter of American history, and explores its consequences that continue to reverberate today.
Tim Tsai also directed Austin PBS's Austin Revealed: Pioneers from the East, an oral history series about the earliest Chinese American families to settle in Central Texas. Seadrift is his first feature.
Tuesday, June 1 at 10 p.m. on Austin PBS