The Chinese Exclusion Act: A Documentary Film by Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu

Film Screening and Q&A



Wednesday, April 25, 2018 6:00PM

<p><em>The Chinese Exclusion Act: A Documentary Film by Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu</em></p>
<p>Film Screening and Q&A</p>
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The Chinese Exclusion Act: A Documentary Film by Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu

Film Screening and Q&A



Join California Historical Society and Center for Asian American Media as they present an excerpt from the stirring documentary, The Chinese Exclusion Act: A Documentary Film by Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu .

Watch 46 minutes of the documentary and participate in an engaging and interactive question and answer afterward with special guest and participant in the documentary, David Lei and Director of Center for Asian American Media, Stephen Gong.

About the Film

THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT is a documentary that reveals the connections between the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act – the only federal legislation in United States history ever to single out and name a specific race and nationality for exclusion from immigration and citizenship – and the history of American civil liberties, immigration, labor, and culture.

What does this little-known 1882 law have to do with American identity, democracy, and civil rights today? Through powerful and illuminating visuals, historical documents, testimonies and insights of leading scholars and experts, The Chinese Exclusion Act documentary explores the history of Chinese immigration to the United States and its significance to issues of globalization, immigration, labor and civil rights today.

Watch a short highlight reel by clicking here

About the Speakers

Stephen Gong is the Executive Director of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). Stephen has been associated with CAAM since its founding in 1980, and has served as Executive Director since 2006. His previous positions in arts administration include: Deputy Director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at the University of California, Berkeley, Program Officer in the Media Arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts, and Associate Director of the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the American Film Institute.

He has been a lecturer in the Asian American Studies program at UC Berkeley, where he developed and taught a course on the history of Asian American media. In addition to writing about film history, Gong has provided critical commentary on several DVD projects including the Treasures From American Archives, Vol 1 & 5 (National Film Preservation Foundation), Chan is Missing (dir. Wayne Wang), and is the featured historian in the documentary Hollywood Chinese (Dir. Arthur Dong).

He is the Board Chair of the Center for Rural Strategies and serves on the Advisory Board of the San Francisco Silent Film Society.

David Lei worked as social worker in San Francisco’s Chinatown with at-risk youths before starting his business in 1981 specializing in exporting consumer products to Mexico. He sold his business in 2003 and retired at the end of 2005. David has a passion for building communities, social changes/improvements, youth education and the arts so he actively participates with following non profit organizations: The Chinese Performing Arts Foundation, Asian Art Museum, The Chinese American Community Fund, Chung Ngai Dance Troupe, Academy of Chinese Performing Arts, World Arts West – San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, the Bancroft Library and Center for Asian American Media. David has been married since 1974 with one grown daughter. He attended public schools in San Francisco and graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in Business Administration.


Images provided by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). Calendar Image: The Lim Family, Event Description Image: Wong-Kim-Ark-Affidavit

THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT is co-production of Steeplechase Films and the Center for Asian American Media, with support from NEH, CPB, PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. In association with A/P/A Center at NYU and the New-York Historical Society. CAAM’s “Who is American? Immigration, Exclusion, & the American Dream" program for THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT is supported by the Committee of 100, Jessie Cheng Charitable Foundation, Buck Gee and Mary Hackenbracht, Roger Kuo and Julia Wong, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. caamedia.org/CEA2


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