Finding KUKAN

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USA | 2016 | 75 minutes | Robin Lung

A filmmaker turns detective to uncover the remarkable story of Ling-Ai Li, the un-credited female producer of KUKAN, a 1941 Academy Award®-winning documentary revealing the atrocities of World War II China that has been lost for decades.

"Finding Kukan demonstrates that re-discovering forgotten history can yield treasures as valuable as gold or jewels."Peter Wong, BeyondChron

Saturday, May 27, 2017

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SIFF Cinema Uptown

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

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AMC Pacific Place

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Friday, June 2, 2017

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Ark Lodge Cinemas

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It was the first documentary to ever win an Academy Award®, so why have so few people heard of Kukan: The Battle Cry of China and the woman behind it? Ling-Ai "Gladys" Li was a second-generation Chinese woman born in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1908. Her love and respect for Chinese culture inspired her to create the documentary with American photojournalist Rey Scott about war-torn China and its resistance against Japan in World War II. Filmed in color and featuring shocking ground-level footage of the bombings in Chungking, Kukan was the first film available to the U.S. that portrayed China in a factual, unprejudiced light, and in 1942 won the Oscar® for Best Documentary—yet Li, despite her involvement in the story's conception and funding, sadly went uncredited, and the film became lost and eventually forgotten. Finding Kukan director Robin Lung embarks on a seven-year quest to discover as much as she can about Ling-Ai Li and her involvement and to see if any of the original footage can be salvaged and restored. Featuring clips of Ling-Ai's final interview in 1993, conversations with her living friends and relatives, archived footage, and correspondence between her and Scott, Finding Kukan celebrates this female filmmaking pioneer and shines a light on what is undoubtedly an essential piece of cinematic and world history.

Director Biography

Robin Lung made her directorial debut with Washington Place: Hawaii's First Home, a 30-minute film about Hawai'i's historic governor's mansion and home of Queen Lili'uokalani. She was the associate producer for Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority, Hawaii unit producer for Vivan Las Antipodas!, and unit producer for NOVA's "Killer Typhoon". In 2015, she was a documentary fellow at the NALIP ARC diverse female filmmaker residency.

Sponsored by Mary Rainwater, KNKX

  • Director: Robin Lung
  • Principal Cast: Kelly Hu, Wan-Chao Chang, Clay David, Daniel Dae Kim, Richard Balin
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA, China
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 75 minutes
  • Producer: Robin Lung, Shirley Thompson
  • Screenplay: Robin Lung, Shirley Thompson
  • Cinematographers: Frank Ayala, Stanford Chang, Ron Darby, Ann Kaneko, Andrew Truong
  • Editors: Shirley Thompson, Robin Lung
  • Music: Miriam Cutler
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Hawaii International Film Festival 2016 (Documentary Feature)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English, Mandarin
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP