Asian, Pacific, & South Asian American Video: Media Resources Center UCB: South/Southeast Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders

South/Southeast Asian/Pacific Island Americans

Southeast Asian American
South Asians in the US and Other Countries
Pacific Islander Americans

The Movies, Race, Ethnicity (for cinema works by Asian American filmmakers or films with images of Asian Americans
People of Mixed Race - Interracial Marriage/Dating
South and South East Asia and Oceania Studies (includes videos about South/South East Asians living in countries other than the US)

South Asian Women (SAWNET) Movie Page

Southeast Asians in the United States

A.k.a. Don Bonus.
This documentary is a self-portrait of a young Cambodian immigrant growing up in America today. Shot by Sokly Ny himself, it shows his struggles to graduate and survive his complicated life during his senior year of high school. Produced by Spencer Nakasako. 55 min. DVD 8275; vhs Video/C 4390
© notice

View this video online
UC Berkeley users only - Requires Windows Media Player or Flip4Mac

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

O'Connor, John J. "P.O.V.; 'A k a Don Bonus.'" (television program reviews) New York Times v145 (Tue, June 25, 1996):B3(N), C18(L), col 2, 16 col in.

The Affects of War: the Indochina Refugee Experience.
A brief historical overview of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam and the transitional stages common to the refugee experience. 58 min. Video/C 1851

This documentary film consists of interviews in Vietnam and the U.S. with some of the more 100,000 children of U.S. soldiers born to Vietnamese mothers during the Vietnam War. Most of the Amerasians portrayed in the film have moved to the United States under the Amerasian homecoming act of 1987, which permitted the children of American soldiers to immigrate to the United States with their immediate relatives. They talk of the discrimination they experienced growing up in Vietnam, issues of identity and their struggles to adapt to American society. 1998. 52 min. Video/C 9396

Anatomy of a Springroll.
Written and directed by Paul Kwan and Arnold Iger. Paul Kwan, a Vietnamese immigrant, tells his story of finding a new life in San Francisco while maintaining his cultural connection through cooking, eating and sharing the rich and varied food of his native land. But an undercurrent of longing for the motherland culminates in a visit to Saigon where memory and reality are finally reconciled, and he is ready to return to his adoptive country. 1992. 56 min. Video/C 4869

Animal Appetites.
It is unlawful for Californians to eat their pets. Two Cambodian immigrants, arrested in California for killing their dog for food, are the subjects of this video documentary. 20 min. Video/C 3032

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Becoming American.
Records the odyssey of Hang Sou and his family , preliterate tribal farmers, as they travel from a refugee camp in Thailand after fleeing Laos to resettle in the United States. 58 min. Video/C 2932

Becoming American web site (New Day Films)

Being Hmong Means Being Free
Highlights the history, culture and identity of Hmong immigrants and refugees from Laos who settled in the United States between 1975 and the early 1990s. The documentary looks at Hmong life in this country as seen through the eyes of the seventeen-year-old program host, Lia Vang. 2000. 57 min. Video/C 8518

The Betrayal
The epic story of a family forced to emigrate from war-torn Laos after the chaos of the secret air war waged by the U.S. during the Vietnam War, to the mean streets of New York City. Kuras has spent the last 23 years chronicling the family's extraordinary journey in this deeply personal, poetic, and emotional film. Directors, Ellen Kuras, Thavisouk Phrasavath. Dist. Cinema Guild. c2008. 96 min. DVD X357

Between Two Worlds: The Hmong Shaman in America.
Describes the art of Shamanism and the role of the Shaman in Hmong society. Examines conflict between the ancient religion and traditions of the Hmong and Christian practice and belief. Interviews Hmong living in Chicago. 28 min. DVD X1791; vhs Video/C 2850

Between Worlds.
This unique documentary explores the lives of several Vietnamese Amerasians (children of Vietnamese women and American servicemen) and their families who left Vietnam in 1992 through the Orderly Departure Program. Each of the families was sent to a refugee camp in the Philippines for 6 months of ESL and cultural orientation. The film details their experiences in the camp, and their arrival in different regions of this country. It then follows their lives for 5 more years as they struggle to learn English, find jobs and pursue their educations and for one Amerasian, to be re-united with his American father. 57 min. Video/C 6118

Blue Collar and Buddha.
Explores the dilemma of Laotian refugees living in Rockford, Illinois who are torn between preserving their cultural identity and adapting to their new life in America. Re-settlement is complicated by rising tensions with working class neighbors, many of whom resent the Laotians' economic gains and view their Buddhism with hostility. Directed by Taggart Siegel. 1987. 60 min. DVD X2678; vhs Video/C 1746

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Western Folklore v51, n2 (April, 1992):215 (3 pages).
American Anthropologist v92, n2 (June, 1990):554.

Bui Doi: Life Like Dust.
Life, for most young Vietnamese gang members in the U.S., is Bui Doi, "a life like dust." Interviews Ricky Phan, currently serving an 11-year sentence for armed robbery in a California State prison. Expansion of the award-winning short film. 28 min. Video/C 3238

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Dai Hoi Thong Nhat Phat Giao Viet Nam Tai Hoa Ky.
Proceedings of a Vietnamese American Buddhist conference held in San Jose, California, including the opening and closing religious ceremonies. In Vietnamese. ca. 300 min.Video/C 4109

Death of a Shaman
A young Mien woman from Sacramento, California (Fahm Saeyang) undertakes an emotional and moving personal journey retracing her family's immigration to America from the mountains of Southeast Asia. She examines with painful honesty how her immigrant family suffered through a 20 year ordeal of poverty, racism, religions, drugs, jail, and the murder of a family member. It is a chronicle of a darker side of the pursuit of the American dream that affected many of the 40,000 Mien who came from a primitive life in the mountains of Southeast Asia to America. Director/writer, Richard Hall. 2003. 60 min. DVD X3933; Video/C MM163

Daughter from Danang
Heidi seems the proverbial "all-American girl" from small-town Pulaski, Tennessee. But she was born Mai Thi Hiep in Danang, Vietnam, the daughter of an American serviceman and a Vietnamese woman. At the war's end, her mother, hearing rumors that racially mixed children would be persecuted, placed the 7-year-old girl on an "Operation Babylift" plane to the United States. Twenty-two years later mother and daughter are miraculously reunited in Danang. But what seems like the cue for a happy ending is anything but as Heidi and her Vietnamese relatives are caught in a heart-wrenching clash of cultures. Directed by Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco 2003. 83 min. DVD 9628; vhs Video/C 9538

Sundance Film Festival - Grand Jury Prize

Choy, Gregory Paul; Choy, Catherine Ceniza. "What Lies beneath: Reframing Daughter from Danang." In: Outsiders within : writing on transracial adoption / edited by Jane Jeong Trenka, Julia Chinyere Oparah, and Sun Yung Shin ; with contributions by Heidi Lynn Adelsman... [et al.]. Cambridge, Mass. : South End Press, 2006. (Comparative Ethnic Studies; Education-Psychology; Moffitt HV875.6 .O87 2006)
Kim, Jodi. "An 'Orphan' with Two Mothers: Transnational and Transracial Adoption, the Cold War, and Contemporary Asian American Cultural Politics." American Quarterly, vol. 61, no. 4, pp. 855-880, Dec 2009 UC users only

From Hollywood to Hanoi.
Tiana (Tiana Thi Thanh Nga) was born in Saigon, Vietnam, where her father was Minister of Information for South Vietnam. In 1966 he moved his family to the U.S. and told Tiana she would never see Vietnam again. Against the wishes of many of her family, she did go back. This video is an account of her journey home and what she discovered in Vietnam. 80 min. Video/C 4200

Canby, Vincent. "From Hollywood to Hanoi." (movie reviews) Migration World Magazine v21, n5 (Nov-Dec, 1993):42.
Elley, Derek. "From Hollywood to Hanoi." (movie reviews) Variety v349, n5 (Nov 23, 1992):51.
Fairclough, Gordon. "Home Movies: Vietnamese-American Film Maker Proves You Can Go Home Again. (profile of Tiana Alexandra). Far Eastern Economic Review v157, n36 (Sept 8, 1994):78.
Feng, Peter. "Lost in the Media Jungle: Tiana Thi Thanh Nga's Hollywood Mimicry." Amerasia Journal v23, n2 (Fall, 1997):81 (6 pages).
Gitta, Reddy. "From Hollywood to Hanoi" (review and interview with Tiana Thi Thahn Nga) Cineaste v20, n3 (Summer, 1993); v20, n3 (Summer, 1993):46
RaySircar, Pritha. "From Hollywood to Hanoi." Sojourner, vol. 18 no. 5. 1993 Jan. pp: 30-31.

From Opium to Crysanthemums: Lao Tong and the Hmong People
A documentary of the Hmong people of the "Golden Triangle," in the borderland of Thailand, Laos and Burma, looking at what has happened to them both in Thailand and Laos and in the United States. The filmmaker visits the town of Maetho, high in the Thai Mountains and learns that the Hmong are transitioning from opium farming to the vegetable and flower business. While there he witnesses a village divorce proceeding and a Shaman healing ceremony and in Laos mine sweeping crews diffusing unexploded bombs. He then travels to Sacramento and Minneapolis to see how Hmongs in America are working to preserve essential aspects of their culture. 2000. 75 min. Video/C 7748

Indochinatown [Sound Recording]
Examines local tensions in San Francisco's low income Tenderloin district. Los Angeles, CA : Pacifica Radio Archive, 1986. 29 min. Sound/C 1274

Kelly Loves Tony.
Seventeen year-old Kelly Saeteurn has a dream--she calls it her "American dream." As a fresh high school graduate on her way to college she envisions a rosy future for herself, full of exciting opportunities granted by a college education. Kelly is the first in her family of Iu Mien refugees from Laos to have accomplished as much as she already has, but her dreams exist in sharp contrast to her reality. She is also pregnant. Her boyfriend Tony is a junior high drop out and ex-con whom she had met three months earlier at a shopping mall in Oakland, California. The honesty of this film's footage and dialogue offers viewers a rare glimpse into the lives of two young people struggling to make their relationship work in the face of overwhelming obstacles like parenthood, gender issues, cultural and educational differences. Produced and directed by Spencer Nakasano. 1998. 57 min. DVD X2960; Video/C 5488

Letter Back Home.
A rare and uncompromising look at life in the United States for some Laotian and Cambodian youth. Shot in San Francisco's "inner city" Tenderloin District, this video letter contains topics of concern for all in this American democracy. 14 min. Video/C 4187

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Letters to Thien
A documentary detailing the life and murder of a gifted young Vietnamese American, Ly Minh Thien, and how the hate crime affected Thien's community. The film covers tributes to Thien, his brutal death, the arrest of Thien's murderers and the community's struggle to get the District Attorney to declare Thien's murder a hate crime. Directed by Trac Minh Vu.1997. 55 min. Video/C 6615

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Mai's America
A spunky Vietnamese teenager named Mai gets the chance of a lifetime, to study in the United States. Expecting Hollywood, she instead lands in rural Mississippi, a crazy quilt of self-proclaimed rednecks, cliquish teenagers, South Vietnamese exiles and transvestite soulmates. As she tries to fit in and to make ends meet, Mai discovers that "America" is both less and far more than she bargained for. From cosmopolitan Hanoi to the heart of the Deep South, Mai's unforgettable journey offers an outsider's glimpse inside America. A film by Mario Poras. 72 min. Video/C 9044

Women Make Movies catalog description

Monkey Dance.
Film presents the lives of three Cambodian-American teenagers who come of age in the United States while holding on to some aspects of their Cambodian culture such as Cambodian dance. Directed, shot, and edited by Julie Mallozzi. 2004. 64 min. DVD 4260

Monterey's Boat People.
Examines the continuing tension between Monterey's established Italian fishing community and recently arrived Vietnamese fisherman. 29 min. Video/C 1963

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Moving Mountains: The Story of the Yiu Mien.
Focuses on the Yiu Mien people of Laos and the problems they face adjusting to life in the United States after the Vietnam War. Producer, director, Elaine Velazquez. 1989. 58 min. DVD X3208; vhs Video/C 2256

Filmakers Library catalog description

New Faces on Main Street: A Review of Immigration in the U.S. at the Dawn of the 21st Century
An investigative documentary illustrating perspectives of Southeast Asian and Latino Americans who immigrated to northeast Wisconsin and the Midwest. 1998. 57 min. Video/C 8519

New Year Baby
Born on Cambodian New Year in a refugee camp, Socheata grew up in the United States not knowing about her family's past. In New Year Baby, she journeys to Cambodia to discover the secrets of how her family came together during the Khmer Rouge period. She finds that what her parents hid in shame also proves their great heroism. 2006. 74 min. DVD 9915

No More Mountains: The Story of the Hmong.
A documentary concerning cultural and social adjustment of the Hmong people who after the end of Vietnam War emigrated from their homes in the mountains of Laos to settle in California and other parts of the world. 60 min. Video/C 271

On Cannibalism
King Kong meets the family photograph in this provocatively ironic video which explores the West's insatiable appetite for native bodies in museums, world's fairs and early films. A personal narrative about race and identity by an Indonesian-American videographer of Batak- Palembang descent. A film by Fatimah Tobing Rony. 1994. 6 min. Video/C 9723

Women Make Movies catalog description

Pak Bueng On Fire.
Narrative film which presents a look into the struggle of Thai immigrants in Los Angeles. Director, Supachai Surongsain. 25 min. Video/C 1974

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Parallel Adele
Two half Vietnamese documentary filmmakers, both named Adele, weave a shared narrative of mixed Asian (hapa) experiences through interviews with 7 other mixed race subjects. History, memory, and anecdotes on multiracial ethnicity are represented through archival images, super 8 film, verité, and interview. Cast: Adele Pham, Adele Ray, Carmen Vankerhove, Chaz "Koba" McHale. Director, Adele Pham. Dist.: Third World Newsreel. c2008. 16 min. DVD X1961

The Price You Pay: Indochinese Refugees in California.
Focusses on the problems confronting Indochinese refugees in California today and their struggle to settle and to find jobs in a new country. 1983. 29 min. Video/C 508 NRLF #: B 4 175 316

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Rebuilding the Temple: Cambodians in America.
Examines the refugee's efforts to adjust to Western life and the significant role played by the Khmer-Buddhist culture in this difficult process. A film by Lawrence R. Hott, Claudia Levin. 60 min. Video/C 2874

View this video online (via

Red White Blue November
Tells the history of the Thao family: their life in Laos, their flight from their native country and resettlement in Freso, California, and how their lives were forever changed when a son was murdered one November in a drive-by shooting. A film by Saidah Said & Sapana Sakya. Originally produced as students in the School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. 1998. 28 min. Video/C MM1126

Reflections: Returning to Vietnam.
Explores three individual's perspectives of the Vietnamese diaspora since the fall of Saigon in 1975. They speak about the complex challenges faced by many Asian immigrants in American culture. 1992. 30 min. Video/C 3071

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Three young Cambodian American men, raised on the streets of San Francisco's tough Tenderloin district, travel to Cambodia wielding video cameras to capture their experiences of meeting fathers, sisters and brothers for the first time. These family reunions reveal the impact of war, refugee and immigrant culture, family, death, personal and political history, identity and ultimately, reconciliation and forgiveness. Mike, Paul and David have never been out of the country, and are the first in their families to visit Cambodia since fleeing the bloody regime of Pol Pot in the late 1970s. 2003. 63 min. Video/C MM312

Saigon, U.S.A.
Looks at the changing perspectives (in regards to biculturalism, politics, and self-identity) of residents of the Vietnamese American community living in Orange County's Little Saigon which is located in Westminster, California. 2002. 91 min. Video/C MM194

Sentenced Home
This documentary portrays 3 immigrant men who arrived in the United States as refugees from Cambodia in the '80s. After fleeing the Khmer Rouge and settling in Seattle as children, each was drawn into gang life, and ultimately jail. According to U.S. law they should have been deported, but Cambodia did not accept deportees at the time of their sentences. After September 2001, the U.S. pressured Cambodia into changing its policy. As a result, thousands of individuals were separated from their families and returned to a land that many barely knew. Many deportees faced the prospect of paying a double penalty: having already served their original prison sentences and moved on with their lives, they now faced deportation. Produced, written and directed by David Grabias and Nicole Newnham. 75 min. c2006. DVD 7600

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

The Split Horn: The Life of a Hmong Shaman in America
Shows the life and culture of the Thao family, Hmong Americans in Appleton, Wisconsin. The film focuses on Paja Thao, a shaman whose spiritual leadership plays a vital role in Appleton's Hmong community. He ministers to the physical and spiritual needs of friends and family with elaborate rituals that bridge the natural and spirit worlds. However, as Paja's children have grown up, they are losing touch with their father's 5,000 year old traditions. Directed by Taggart Siegel. c2001. 58 min. DVD X3200; Video/C 8613

Description from Filmakers Library catalog

The Story of Vinh.
The story of Vinh Dinh, son of a U.S. serviceman and a Vietnamese mother, who makes the journey from Vietnamese to American culture, from youth to manhood, and from false dream to harsh reality. Director, Keiko Tsuno. 60 min. Video/C 2350

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

A Tale of Love
A film loosely inspired by the Tale of Kieu, an early 19th century Vietnamese poem in which a martyred woman sacrifies herself for the good of her family. This film, set in America, portrays the Vietnamese immigrant experience through Kieu, a writer who sends money to her family in Vietnam by working for a woman's magazine. As she works on an article about the legacy of the Tale of Kieu, she comes to understand how the poem resonates in her own life. In the end, overcoming the sorrows of love and exile is, for Kieu, to reinvent both herself and the 200-year-old poem. Director, producer, writer, editor, Trinh T. Minh-ha ; co-director, co-producer, Jean-Paul Bourdier 1995. 108 min. DVD X6712; Video/C 6236

Women Make Movies catalog description

Thanh's War.
The long-term effects of the Vietnam War are examined through the eyes of Thanh, injured and orphaned by a grenade as a 12-year-old in 1968, brought to the United States for treatment, and raised by an American foster family. After several visits to Vietnam as an adult, he marries a young woman from his village. This extraordinary documentary illuminates Thanh's courageous story as he grapples with the emotional legacy of the war and tries to make his way in two vastly different cultures. 58 min. DVD X568 [preservation copy]; vhs Video/C 5079

Vietnamese Americans: The Fall of Saigon (Vietnamese Americans, 1)
As communism tightened its grip on what was once South Vietnam, a stream of refugees poured into America. This program presents interviews with Vietnamese Americans and archival footage to reveal the fortitude of the Vietnamese who faced great hardships in their escape to the U.S. following the fall of Saigon. In addition, South Vietnamese and American veterans give their firsthand views on the Vietnam War, exploring the factors that led to the elimination of U.S. military and financial support and polarization of public opinion both in the U.S. and Vietnam. c2001. 37 min. Video/C 7967

Vietnamese Americans: The New Generation (Vietnamese Americans, 2)
Through candid interviews with first- and second-generation Vietnamese Americans, this program documents the process of assimilation into American culture of refugees from the former Republic of Vietnam. Topics includes stresses on the family unit caused by cultural and generational differences, gang membership and drug abuse among the young, anti-Vietnamese racial bias, and feelings about relations between the U.S. and Vietnam. c2001. 33 min. Video/C 7968

Vietnamese Students Association (UC Berkeley) Culture Show, 1999
In a celebration of their culture, Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American college students perform traditional and contemporary music, songs and dance interspersed with comedy, drama and martial arts sequences. Performed at the University of California, Berkeley on April 24, 1999. 163 min. Video/C 6634

Requires RealAudio player

Clip 1
Clip 2
Clip 3
Clip 4
Clip 5

A Village Called Versailles (Làng Versailles (Vec Sai))
A documentary about Versailles, a community in eastern New Orleans first settled by Vietnamese refugees. After Hurricane Katrina, Versailles residents impressively rise to the challenges by returning and rebuilding before most neighborhoods in New Orleans, only to have their homes threatened by a new government-imposed toxic landfill just two miles away. Director, S. Leo Chiang. 2009. 67 min. DVD X3195

American Library Association Video Round Table: Notable Videos for Adults

Description from New Day Films catalog

Lam, Mariam B. "A Village Called Versailles." Visual Anthropology Review, 2010, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p52-53, 2p UC users only

Xich-Lo (Cyclo)
A film by M. Trinh Nguyen. A documentary film about a Vietnamese American woman who visits her family in Vietnam and discusses her feelings regarding her bicultural identity and her perspectives on the Vietnam war and its devastating effects on her family. 1995 20 min. Video/C 6088

South Asians in the United States and Other Countries

South Asian diaspora

Acting Our Age.
With the assistance of the filmmaker, residents of London residing in a home for South Asian elderly, shoot their own video. They interview a wide range of subjects...from people on the street to members of Parliament. This spirited video reveals generational attitudes, cross-cultural values, and everyday problems faced by older, often neglected British citizens. Producer, Deanne Edwards ; director, Gurinder Chadha. 29 min. Video/C 3830

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

All Dressed in White
Documentary on weddings in three generations of a Catholic family originally from India and now living in California. Focuses on the brides attempt to reconcile traditional Indian, Catholic and American values in her choice of wedding dress. A film by Ligia Giese and Margaret Dubin. Produced in the Anthropological Film Program, University of California, Berkeley, 1993, through the facilities of the Office of Media Services. 1993. 19 min. Video/C MM578

Ancestors in the Americas.
A film by Loni Ding. The untold story of how Asians--Filipino, Chinese, Asian Indian--first arrived in the Americas. Film crosses centuries and oceans from the 16th century Manila-Acapulco trade, to the Opium War, to the 19th century plantation coolie labor in South America and the Caribbean. 1996. 64 min. Video/C 4353

A 3 part television documentary telling the powerful stories of the journeys of five families from their homes in the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Mexico and India to new lives in the United States.

The Bhanga Wrap.
An energetic documentary about a vibrant South Asian youth subculture that fuses hip hop, rap and Bhangra music. Based in Toronto, Canada and New York City, Bhangra is a mix of old and new, and is symbolic of universal cultural transformation for new generations. Producer/director, Nandini Sikand. 20 min. Video/C 4180

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Interviews with East Indians living in the United States and with Americans of East Indian descent are intercut with fictional exchanges between members of an Indian-American family. 39 min. Video/C 4184

Bollywood Bound: Finding Fame and Identity in India's Filmmaking Capital
For some children of Canadian East-Indian immigrants, the land of milk and honey that their parents sought is not North America, it is Bombay, home to the Hindi film and television industry known as Bollywood. This fascinating program follows four aspiring stars as they return to their parents' country to encounter not only the challenges of casting calls and rehearsals but the feeling of being an outsider in their own native culture. Questions of religious, linguistic, and moral identity are frankly addressed, providing a compelling study of what it means to feel like a foreigner in two countries. Directed by Nisha Pahuja. 2002. 57 min. Video/C 9432

Bolo Bolo.
Through interviews, interspersed with images of gay sexual encounters, film explores responses to the AIDS crisis by members of the South Asian community of Toronto, Canada. 30 min. Video/C 3829

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Review from South Asian Women Network (SAWNET)

Calcutta Calling.
A white luxury tour bus squeezes its way through a narrow Calcutta alleyway, child beggars clawing at its windows. The kids inside the bus look like Indian children, but for their walkmans, hip hugger jeans, and white American parents. They're separated from the children on the street by a thin window, and a stroke of luck. Adopted from Calcutta and raised in rural, Swedish-Lutheran Minnesota, these girls and their adoptive parents are visiting the girls country of birth for the first time. The film follows three families hog farmers, lesbian moms, and a girl who is the only brown kid in her high school as they travel from the prairie to the crowded, urban chaos of Northern India. It's journey of friendship among Minnesota teenagers who find their reflection not only in the children on the street, but in each other. UCB student film by Shasha Khokha. 2004. 27 min. DVD 4391; vhs Video/C MM512

Chutney in Yuh Soca: A Multicultural Mix.
Chutney in Yuh Soca: a film showing the interaction of the East Indian and African populations of Trinidad and Tobago through the popular music "Chutney" which is an combination of Indian folk tunes with the tempo and spice of the Caribbean. The Gospel Truth: A Black family in Great Britain reaffirms their values and family cohesiveness through the singing of gospel music. Songs For Our Daughters: West Indian women in Britain discuss the way they pass their heritage and culture on to their mixed race daughters. 1996. 37 min. DVD X3209; vhs Video/C 5075

Description from Filmakers Library catalog

Consecration of a Temple.
The Sri Venkateswara Hindu temple in Pittsburgh, is consecrated in a traditional 5 day ceremony in 1977.This film documents the final stages of the consecration of the Hindu temple built by members of that city's Indian-American community. Examines the temple's shrines and statues and their significance within Hinduism and discusses the community's efforts to preserve their language and culture in the face of pressures to be assimilated. 199?. 25 min. DVD 8810 [preservation copy]; vhs Video/C 3777

Crossing Lines
Crossing Lines is a film about an Indian American woman's struggle to stay connected to India after the loss of her father.... This film takes you on a journey to India, where Indira [Somani] visits her father 's extended family for the first time after his death. Produced, directed, and written by Leena Jayaswal & Indira Somani. Dist.: New Day Films. 2007. 32 min. DVD X3806

Crosstalk, Multi-racial Britain
This film explores some of the differences and difficulties involved in cross-cultural communication in Britain with particular emphasis on South Asians. It looks at the different types of misunderstandings which result from the different ways people from different ethnic groups use the English language. c1979. 30 min. DVD 7101 [preservation copy]; Video/C 9942

Desi: South Asians in New York
Presents dozens of first- and second generation New Yorkers who share their insights, reflections and experiences to illustrate the wide spectrum of Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans, Nepalese and other South Asians who have become an integral part of the city. 2000. 58 min. Video/C 8898

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

The Diaspora and India
Documentary about the migration of Syriac Aramean people throughout the world today, including scenes of contemporary Syrian churches in the U.S.A., Canada, Holland, and India, with emphasis on southern India's Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. c2001. 60 min. Video/C 9584

Don't Fence Me In
Documents the story of the life of Krishna Sikund, the East Indian filmmaker's mother, from childhood to maturity. Krishna's personal narrative is highlighted by her letters to her daughter and the poems which serve as milestones in her life. 1998. 55 min. Video/C 8716

Women Make Movies catalog description

A Dream in Doubt
After several of his friends and family members become victims of hate crimes in the weeks after 9/11, Sikh immigrant Rana Singh Sodhi attempts to organize and educate his community in hopes of preventing further violence. Director/producer, Tami R. Yeager. 2007. 56 min. DVD X1370

Description from Center for Asian American Media catalog

Freemont, U.S.A.
Fremont, California is a city transformed by new immigration. A rajagopuram rises in a tidy suburban neighborhood, announcing the vital presence of the Hindu community. The diversity of the global Buddhist community is also in evidence, as Thai, Chinese and Burmese temples -- and a women's monastic retreat center -- dot the landscape. Fremont is also home to Peace Terrace, where Muslims and Christians have built side by side, and Gurdwara Road, where a large Sikh community engages in creative forms of outreach. Through civic engagement and interfaith action, strangers have become neighbors in this American city. Yet Fremont has also faced real challenges, especially after 9/11. After Alia Ansari, a Muslim woman, is murdered on a Fremont street while walking her young daughter to school, some wonder if it is a hate crime. Produced & directed by Rachel Antell, Elinor Pierce. c2008. 57 min. DVD X3132

From Docklands to Dhaka. (Life; 3)
Physician Sam Everington serves the poor in London where 40% of his patients are from Bangladesh. Believing that community health involves not only treating illness, but working with local people on jobs, housing and education, Dr. Everington travels to Bangladesh to test his theories in an effort to improve community health. c2000. 24 min. Video/C 7763

Goodness Gracious Me
A British television comedy series presenting a satirical exploration of racial stereotypes in Britain, as seen from an Indian point-of-view. With a stunning stream of sketches and songs this is "the very best of Series 1 plus unseen out-takes.".Series 1 originally transmitted 12.1.98-16.2.98. (PAL format ). 70 min. Video/C 8527

An East Indian American woman, who immigrated to the United States as a college student, returns to India ten years later to work through the conflicts she experienced with her family and to come to an understanding and acceptance of her Indian identity and heritage. 37 min. Video/C 3236

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

I for India
In 1965 Yash Pal Suri left India for England. The first thing he did on his arrival is to buy two Super 8 cameras and two tape recorders; one set of equipment he sent to his family in India, the other he kept for himself. For forty years he used it to share his strange new life in the West with those at home. In turn he received their "cine-letters" of weddings, festivals, and village life. As time passed, the joy and curiosity of the early exchanges gave way to the darker reality of alienation, racism, and a family falling apart. Directed by Sandhya Suri. 2005. 70 min. DVD X255

Description from Icarus Films catalog

I'm British But...
Using Bhangra and Bangla music and the testimonies of young British Asians, the video uncovers a defiant popular culture--a synthesis--part Asian, part British. 30 min. Video/C 3827

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Zuberi, Nabeel. "Documented/Documentary Asians: Gurinder Chadha's I'm British But ... and the Musical Mediation of Sonic and Visual Identities." In: Soundtrack available : essays on film and popular music / edited by Pamela Robertson Wojcik and Arthur Knight. pp: 244-66. Durham, NC : Duke University Press, 2001. (Music ML2075.S68 2001)

Interviews with South Asian lesbians and gay men in Britain, North America and India concerning the intricacies of being queer and of color. A film by Pratibha Parmar. 1991. 24 min. DVD X6716; Video/C 4932

Description from Women Make Movies catalog

"Identities, Passions and Commitments: An interview with the British Filmmaker Pratibha Parmar." LOLA press: International Feminist Journal 04-30-2000 N.12 p. 36 UCB users only

Khush Refugees
The film focuses on San Francisco's gay community where two exiles, Rahul, an immigrant from India, and Dante, an ex-marine from suburban Ohio, try to assimilate in this new foreign culture. 32 min. Video/C 3822

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Knowing Her Place.
An Indian woman looks at her life, her marriage, and her role in contemporary society both in India and the United States. A videotape by Indu Krishnan. 1990. 40 min. DVD X3854; Video/C 2198

Description from Women Make Movies catalog

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Review from South Asian Women Network (SAWNET)

Leaving Bakul Bagan.
This moving documentary follows filmmaker Sandeep Bhusan Ray's cousin's imminent departure from India to pursue studies in the United States. Torn between familial and national loyalities and her desire to travel and experience personal freedom, this film captures one young woman's embarkation into the world outside what she has known. 1993. 43 min. Video/C 6243

Ma Baap.
A film by Siraj Jhaveri. This film chronicles the relationship between the filmmaker's Muslim father and Hindu mother--exploring their forbidden relationship in India, their elopement and eventual separation. Jhaveri interviews his reluctant subjects in the U.S. and travels to India to try and unfold the conditionalities of love and committment. 30 min. Video/C 6016

Marriages in Heaven
Arranged marriages have been an important aspect of traditional Indian culture since ancient times, and they are still common today. This illuminating documentary explores the ways in which globalization and modernization are affecting young people and changing the traditions of marriage among Indians living both in India and in America. This documentary was produced in the Community Documentary Workshop of the Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts Department of San Francisco State University. 2000. 27 min. DVD 6441

Description from Berkeley Media

A Migrant's Heart (Human geography, people places and change ; 8)
An English actor who's parents came from India and then migrated to East Africa and finally England returns to visit New Delhi, India, to seek his roots, and to work through ethnic identity problems which can result when one is caught between two worlds. 1996. 27 min. Video/C 4248

Milind Soman Made Me Gay
A conceptual documentary about desire and notions of 'home' and 'belonging'. The film employs a unique mix of visual elements along with voice over narration to juxtapose memories of the filmmaker's past against stories of three gay South Asian men living in the diaspora. Overshadowing these nostalgic explorations of life 'back home,' are harsh realities of homophobia and racism in America and an on-going struggle to find a place of belonging. Written, directed and produced by Harjant Gill. 2007. 27 min. DVD 9294

Miss India Georgia.
A film by Daniel Friedman & Sharon Grimberg. This documentary film follows four contestants in the Miss India Georgia pagent and tells the story of their experiences as first generation americans. These young women disclose the complexity of their feelings about growing up in the United States as children of immigrant parents. Produced and directed by Daniel Friedman & Sharon Grimberg. 1997. 56 min. DVD 7297; vhs Video/C 5745

Dave, Shilpa. 'Community Beauty': Transnational Performances and Cultural Citizenship in 'Miss India Georgia'. Lit: Literature Interpretation Theory 2001 Sept; 12(3): 335-58.UC users only

Mistaken Identity: Sikhs in America
An investigation of attitudes towards Sikhs in the United States following the events of September 11, 2001 and an exploration of the religion, culture and history of Sikhs in America, highlighting contributions Sikh Americans have made to the American society and economy for over 100 years. 2002. 38 min. DVD 3601

Mr. Ahmed
A film by Terrance Grace. A portrait of an Indian expatriate living in a small American town who struggles to re-invent himself. As memories of a home and family left behind seep to the surface, the collision of the old and the new world forces his life into a critical turn, and an act which could destroy both worlds. 52 min. Video/C 6015

The New Americans.
See Immigrant Experience videography. For information about individual installments.

The New Puritans: The Sikhs of Yuba City.
Gives the history as well as the present status of the Sikh population in Yuba City, California. 28 min. Video/C 1745

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

New View New Eyes
An East Indian Canadian travels to India to meet her father's family. She finds that India is in no simple way her "home", yet she also can't hide behind the tourist's camera. Western representations of India are challenged as we see India through a weave of location imagery, music, poetry, conversation and journal entries. 49 min. Video/C 4254

A Nice Arrangement.
Set in the London home of an Indian family on the morning of their daughter's wedding, Menna, the young bride, changes into her traditional bridal gear with the help of her divorced friend, Sita. Together, the women discuss Indian marriage customs and why they chose to marry the "perfect" cultural choice for their parents. 11 min. Video/C 3814

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Pilgrimage to Pittsburgh.
In 1987 revisits the Lord Venkateshvara temple near Pittsburgh, PA to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Illustrates the many ways in which the temple brings together Indians living in America and imparts cultural awareness to their children. Produced and directed by Ron Hess for the Department of Religious Studies, the University of Pittsburgh. 1990. 25 min. DVD X4422; Video/C 3382

Punjabi Cab
Cinematography, Liam Dalzell ; original music, Matt Knoth. Since September 11th 2001, turban-wearing Sikhs in America have endured harassment and violence because they are mistaken for the stereotypical Middle Eastern terrorist. This documentary looks at the treatment that Bay Area Sikh taxi drivers have endured since 9/11 and their resilience in overcoming these hardships through faith, compassion and pride in their culture. Directed and edited by Liam Dalzell. c2004. 20 min. DVD 5233

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Pure Chutney
Explores the Trinidadian-Indian culture and the events and accidents of history that constitute the Indian diaspora. Documents the diversity of the Indian diasporic populations in Trinidad and their struggle for identity. A video by Sanjeev Chatterjee. 1998. 43 min. Video/C 6422

Raising Our Voices: South Asian Americans Address Hate
A film developed to raise awareness about hate crimes and bias incidents affecting South Asians living in America, with particular reference to their increase since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. 2002. 25 min. Video/C 8842

Roots in the Sand.
Through a combined use of extensive archival material and personal interviews, this documentary examines the lives of the Sikh, Moslem and Hindu immigrants of the early 20th century who farmed California's desert regions, particularly the Imperial Valley. There they had to circumvent racism, miscegenation laws, barriers to land ownership and citizenship and even Anglo farmers seeking vengeance. This Punjabi version of the "taming of the Wild West" addresses what media has omitted from history books and the western genre. A film by Jayasri Majumdar Hart. 1998. 57 min. Video/C 5683

Description from Center for Asian American Media catalog

Sari Red.
A film by Pratibha Parmar. A visual poem made in memory of Kalbinder Kaur Hayre, a young Indian woman, killed by fascists in 1985 in a racist attack in England. 1988. 14 min. Video/C 3462

Description from Women Make Movies catalog

So Far from India.
Describes the experiences of a recently arrived Indian immigrant in America, contrasting them with the traditional world of his new bride whom he left behind in India. Seeks to explore the conflicts that arise when Indian culture meets American society. Directed by Mira Nair. 1982. 49 min. DVD X3206; vhs Video/C 2169

Filmakers Library catalog description

Some Kind of Arrangement.
Focusing on three second-generation Indo-Canadians -- Petty, Hanif and Rajni -- this documentary thoughfully examines an age-old Indian tradition being adapted and transformed in North America. The three young people make it clear that arranged marriages aren't what they used to be. Nowadays, they involve negotiation, introductory phone calls, matrimonial classifieds in Indian community newspapers, long-distance trips, lengthy get-to-know-each-other sessions and the option of saying "no." 1997. 44 min. Video/C 7462

Summer in My Veins
Gay Indian filmmaker Nish Saran, recently tested positive for HIV, travels across the United States with his family who are visiting from India and reveals his gayness to his mother during the journey. c1999. 41 min. Video/C 8380

Taxi-vala / Auto-biography.
Documentary, exploring the experiences and attitudes of Indian and Pakistani taxi drivers in New York City. Questions as well the filmmaker's relationship to these South Asian immigrants and to his Pakistani/Australian mixed-race heritage.. 48 min. Video/C 4659

This Hard Ground: Remembering the Displaced.(Life; 4)
In Sri Lanka, a civil war has been raging for the last twenty years. During the course of the war, 800,000 people were forced to leave their homes and all their possessions. Even though they were displaced within their own country, they have lost everything: their livelihoods, their community and often their families. In this program we talk to the Sri Lankan army, the government and NGOs and ask what are the prospects for long-term political settlement and lasting peace? Directed by Emily Marlow. 2005. 27 min. DVD 3969

Description from Bullfrog Films catalog

Based on the memoirs of the filmmaker's grandmother, this docu-drama explores the inner struggles of an Asian Indian immigrant family torn between their cultural traditions and the desire for social acceptance. Members of one of the first East Indian families to settle on the West Coast of America, the Singh boys were taunted for the turbans they wore, a tradition sacred to their Sikh ancestors, that served only to identify them as outsiders in the prejudiced landscape of Astoria, Oregon circa 1918. 1999. 30 min. Video/C 7713

Description from Center for Asian American Media catalog

Unbidden Voices.
A moving portrait of an Indian immigrant woman from Punjab, India, who works 12 hours a day in a Chicago restaurant. Emphasis is on exploitation of immigrant women, feminism, and contrasting cultures. 32 min. Video/C 3358

Voices from Asia.
A documentary on vulnerable communities and their struggles in Nepal, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. 2003? DVD 4268

What Do You Call an Indian Woman Who's Funny?
Made for Britain's Channel 4 TV series, "First Sex." Looks at four Indian women cabaret performers and explores the question of who sets the agenda for comedy. Is comedy culturally specific or can anyone enjoy a joke regardless or race and ethnicity? 18 min. Video/C 3758

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Pacific Islanders in the United States

Cut Sleeve: Lesbians & Gays of Asia/Pacific Ancestry.
A video documentary providing positive role models for young lesbians & gay Asians/Pacific Islanders coming to terms with sexual orientation and ethnic identity within the broader society. 24 min. Video/C 3101

A Grave Matter.
Film reviews the struggle by native Hawaiians to recover the remains of their ancestors which have been stored in the Hearst Museum at the University of California, Berkeley. Contrasting opinions of museum officials, archeologists and native Hawaiians are explored. 30 min. Video/C 3010

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Issei Wahine= First Generation Women
Film examines labor and family history of Koma Kokubun, who immigrated from Japan to the Hawaiian Islands to work in the cane fields over seventy years ago. As a laborer during the Sugar Era in plantation Hawaii, her story is told through "talk stories" told to her granddaughter, archival photos, silent plantation footage and personal fotos. Includes Hole-hole bushi, Japanese plantation work songs, and Hapa-haole, Hawaiian music. 23 min. Video/C 3823

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Just a Love Thang.
Three sensual vignettes portraying aspects of Asian Pacific lesbian lifestyles and concerns. 7 min. Video/C 3750

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Lost In Paradise: Native Hawaiians
In the first segment "homesteads" and their impact on native Hawaiian culture and heritage, and the struggle to preserve what land remains are examined through segments from the film Papakolea: a story of Hawaiian land. 27 min. Segment from the television program Rights & wrongs broadcast August 18, 1993. Video/C 6700

My Crasy Life
Documentary and scripted drama meet in this intense, introspective, and expectation-shredding treatment of the lives of Samoan street gang members in Long Beach. The young samoan gang-members reveal some of the realities of the Pacific Islander diaspora. While being Samoan remains an important part of these Islanders' identity, their experience of urban American life is far removed both from their grandparents lives in the Samoan islands and the dominant myth of the Samoan paradise. Based on the research of Daniel Marks. Director, Jean-Pierre Gorin. 1992. 98 min. DVD X6890

Noho hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawai'i
A contemporary look at Hawaiian people, politics and resistance in the face of the indigenous population's systematic erasure under U.S. laws, economy, militarism, and real estate speculation. Director, editor, Anne Keala. 2009. 82 min. DVD X6424

The New Americans: Polynesians
A panel of immigrants to America from the Pacific Islands discusses identity issues among Polynesian communities in the United States today. They respond to questions from the audience about stereotyping, generational differences between children and first generation immigrant parents and identity questions. 29 min. Video/C 3819

Omai Fa'atasi: Samoa mo Samoa.
A Samoan community group, Omai Fa'atasi, presents a view of the problems facing youth in the growing Los Angeles area Samoan community. 30 min. Video/C 1977
Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Out in Silence / Not a Simple Story
Presents two stories of Asian Pacific Americans, gay and straight, male and female who have gone public about being HIV positive. 37 min. Video/C 3749

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Profiles the language of Hawai?i's working people in its rise from plantation jargon to a source of island identity and pride. Born on sugar plantations and spoken by more than half of Hawaii's population, Pidgin captures multi-ethnic Hawai?i's heart and soul. Once again under attack by educators and bloggers, will Pidgin survive? directed by Marlene Booth. Dist.: New Day Films. 2009. 57 min. DVD X3851

Polynesians: The New Americans
A panel of immigrants to America from the Pacific Islands discusses identity issues among Polynesian communities in the United States today. They respond to questions from the audience about stereotyping, generational differences between children and first generation immigrant parents and identity questions. 29 min. Video/C 3819

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Troubled Paradise.
Directed by Steven Okazaki. Documentary which celebrates the richness of Hawaiian culture while it explores the social and political problems facing Hawaii's indigenous population. Offers four stories about Native Hawaiians fighting for the survival of their culture. Features performances by island musicians and dancers, and shows footage of recent volcanic eruptions. 56 min. DVD X4643; Video/C 2462

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

To the top

Miscellaneous and General Works
Chinese Americans
Japanese Americans
Korean Americans
Filipino Americans
South/Southesast Asian/Pacific Island Americans

Copyright (C) 1996 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.
Document maintained on server: by
Gary Handman, Head, Media Resources Center.
Last update 02/20/12 [gh]

MRC web graphics by Mary Scott, Graphics Office, The Teaching Library