Arirang: The Korean American Journey
Documentary in 2 parts

Genre: Documentary
Ethnicity: Korean American
Themes: Cultural Encounter & Misunderstanding, Identity/Representation, Immigrant/Refugee Experience/Diaspora, Individual Profiles & Personal Stories
Date: 2002
Running Time: 108 min.
Director/Producer: Tom Coffman
Arirang Film Project
Consumer: $29.95 Purchase
Educational Institution/Library: $49.95 Purchase
Arirang: The Korean American Journey begins the story of how and why, in less than three years in the early 1900s, more than 7,000 Koreans left their strife-torn homeland for new lives on the sugar plantations of Hawaii.  Yet just as they arrive in America, Korea is conquered by Japan, which attempts to stamp out the Korean language and culture and reduce Koreans to second-class Japanese citizens.  As American settlers, the Korean sojourners organized around the cause of independence for Korea while simultaneously sinking roots deep into their new home.  As they achieve astonishing success in American terms, they kept the idea of an independent Korea alive throughout Japan's half-century occupation of the Korean peninsula.

Arirang2: The Korean American Dream continues the story.  The program explores the dramatic renewal of migration as a result of the Korean War and subsequent changes in U.S. immigration law.  After 1970, the Korean-American population expanded rapidly, at times perilously, to over one million today.  This is a story about distances: from Seoul to New Jersey; from storekeeper to Harvard graduate; and from the devastating Los Angeles riots of 1992 to a heightened involvement in the American scene.  Arirang: The Korean American Dream captures a community in transition from anonymity to national prominence.

(Courtesy of the Center for Asian American Media)

Hastings, Michael. "Arirang: The Korean-American Journey." New York Times.

Supplementary Materials
Arirang: An Interactive Classroom on the Korean American Experience
Official film website, including historical information, timeline, sample lesson plans (tailored to senior high school students), and purchase information. Includes extensive information which was not included in the film.
A Korean Story to Be Told
Article from KoreAm Journal (Jun. 13, 2003) by Richard J. Won, including a brief introduction of the film as well as biographical information on and an interview with Tom Coffman, the film’s director and producer.
Fight for Freedom: A KHET Documentary airing Monday captures the Koreans' quest for cultural identity as isle immigrants and in their occupied land
Article by Gary C.W. Chun (Jan. 9, 2003) from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin including a brief introduction to the film and an interview with director and producer Tom Coffman.
Asian American Filmography ExEAS