A filmmaker turns detective to uncover the forgotten story of Li Ling-Ai, the un-credited female producer of KUKAN, an Academy Award-winning color documentary about World War II China that has been lost for decades.

Now available for Educational & Institutional Use and streaming through Vimeo On Demand (w/Chinese subtitles) and Kanopy!

Total­ly absorb­ing.” Louis Proyect (Rec Arts)
“Amaz­ing.” “If you love movies or his­to­ry see this film.” Steve Kopi­an (Unseen Films)
“4 stars” John Soltes (Hol­ly­wood Soapbox)

American Library Association “Notable Film for Adults” 2019
Broadcast on PBS World’s America ReFramed Series, May 2018
Winner — Audience Award, LA Asian Pacific Film Festial 2017
Winner — Honorable Mention, Documentary Award, CAAMFest 2017
Winner — Best Documentary, Special Jury Award, Hawaii International Film Festival 2016
Winner — Courage in Cinema Award, UMass Boston Film Series 2017
Winner — Audience Award Honorable Mention, Boston Asian American Film Festival 2017

About The Film

In the late 1930s Chi­na is in dire straits. The coun­try will col­lapse under Japan’s mil­i­tary jug­ger­naut if it doesn’t get out­side help. Chi­nese Amer­i­can fire­brand Li Ling-Ai jolts Amer­i­cans into action with a new medi­um — 16mm Kodachrome col­or film. She hires pho­to­jour­nal­ist Rey Scott to trav­el to Chi­na and cap­ture a citizen’s per­spec­tive of the war-torn coun­try, includ­ing the mas­sive bomb­ing of the wartime cap­i­tal Chungk­ing (now Chongqing). Their land­mark film KUKAN screens for Pres­i­dent Roo­sevelt at the White House, is called “awe­some” by the New York Times, and receives one of the first Acad­e­my Awards for a fea­ture doc­u­men­tary in 1942. Why have we nev­er heard of Li Ling-Ai? And why have all copies of KUKAN dis­ap­peared? Film­mak­er Robin Lung goes on a 7‑year quest to find the answers.

Li Ling-Ai Brochure

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