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Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May with KCET and PBS SoCal

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KCET and PBS SoCal are celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month throughout the month of May. Discover the Asian and Pacific Islander narrative with an insightful line-up of special programming highlighting prominent figures, stories and legacies.

Hear intimate stories that spotlight a different angle of U.S. history in the five-hour film series "Asian Americans," shadow Japan's Academy Award-winning animator and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki in the documentary "Hayao Miyazaki: 10 Years with the Master," follow two native Hawaiians in "Independent Lens: Out of State" as they discover their culture and indigenous traditions in an unlikely place, and more.

See the full line-up below.

Tyrus Wong: American Masters
Wednesday, May 6 at 10 p.m. on KCET

Tyrus Wong crouches down on the floor as he paints. | "Tyrus Wong: American Masters"

Discover the art, life and enduring impact of Tyrus Wong, the renowned Chinese-American painter behind "Bambi" and "Rebel Without a Cause," via new and never-before-seen interviews, movie clips and art. Wong once exhibited with Picasso and Matisse. Watch now.

Voices From the Frontline: China's War on Poverty
Monday, May 11 at 7 p.m. on PBS SoCal

A man pulls on a sheet-like substance while engulfed in smoke. | "Voices from the Frontline: China's War on Poverty"

This is the inside story of China’s race to eradicate extreme poverty by the end of the year 2020. With unprecedented access, this film explores China’s poverty alleviation campaign—tens of millions of poor families with customized plans, millions of officials recruited and held accountable. President Xi Jinping is counting on its success. Watch now.

Asian Americans
"Episode One: Breaking Ground" – Monday, May 11 at 8 p.m. on PBS SoCal
"Episode Two: A Question of Loyalty" – Monday, May 11 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal
"Episode Three: Good Americans" – Tuesday, May 12 at 8 p.m. on PBS SoCal
"Episode Four: Generation Rising" – Tuesday, May 12 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal
"Episode Five: Breaking Through" – Tuesday, May 12 at 10 p.m. on PBS SoCal

Title card for "Asian Americans," featuring different Asian American figures.

Asian Americans is a five-hour film series that delivers a fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever. As America becomes more diverse, and more divided while facing unimaginable challenges, how do we move forward together? Told through intimate personal stories, the series casts a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played in shaping it. Watch now.

Norman Mineta and His Legacy
Wednesday, May 13 at 9 p.m. on KCET

Norman Mineta | "Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story"

Meet the statesman who served as cabinet secretary for Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. Imprisoned by the U.S. during World War II for his Japanese ancestry, Mineta rose to become the first Asian American to serve in a presidential cabinet. Watch now.

Hayao Miyazaki: 10 Years with the Master
"Ponyo Is Here" – Wednesday, May 13 at 10 p.m. on KCET
"Drawing What's Real" – Wednesday, May 20 at 10 p.m. on KCET
"Go Ahead - Threaten Me" – Wednesday, May 27 at 10 p.m. on KCET

Hayao Miyazaki laughs at something. | "Hayao Miyazaki: 10 Years with the Master"

"Hayao Miyazaki: 10 Years with the Master" is an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the genius of Japan's foremost living film director. Hayao Miyazaki is the creator of some of the world's most iconic and enduring anime feature films, including "Howl's Moving Castle," "Ponyo," "Princess Mononoke," "My Neighbor Totoro" and the Academy Award-winning "Spirited Away." For a decade, Miyazaki allowed a single documentary filmmaker to shadow him at work, following the master as he works on "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea," "From Up On Poppy Hill" and "The Wind Rises." Watch now.

Mr. Tornado: American Experience
Tuesday, May 19 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal

Pioneering meterologist Ted Fujita, or Mr. Tornado, is on the ground observing a small tornado. | "Mr. Tornado: American Experience"

Meet pioneering meteorologist Ted Fujita, who transformed our understanding of tornados. His technological advancements saved lives and helped Americans prepare for and respond to dangerous weather phenomena. Watch now.

Independent Lens: Out of State
Wednesday, May 20 at 9 p.m. on KCET

A group of people participate in a traditional indigenous dance. | "Independent Lens: Out of State"

Shipped thousands of miles away from Hawaii to a private prison in the Arizona desert, two Native Hawaiians discover their indigenous traditions from a fellow inmate serving a life sentence. Watch a preview.

Wednesday, May 27 at 9 p.m. on KCET  

A Japanese American soldier during World War II. | "Registry"

This film breaks open the hidden history of the US 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. Watch now.

Independent Lens: Eating Up Easter
Wednesday, May 27 at 11 p.m. on PBS SoCal

A man stacks soda cans on wet concrete while two other men watch him. | "Independent Lens: Eating Up Easter"

More than just a picture-perfect postcard of iconic stone statues, Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, is a microcosm of a planet in flux. Directed by native Rapa Nui filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu, this film explores the challenges his people are facing, and the intergenerational fight to preserve their culture and a beloved environment against a modernizing society and booming tourism trade. Watch now.

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