Becoming American: The Chinese Experience

Genre: Documentary
Ethnicity: Chinese American
Themes: History, Identity/Representation, Immigrant/Refugee Experience/Diaspora, Labor & Class Issues, Political/Legal Issues
Date: 2003
Running Time: 122 min. each (3 parts)
Director: Bill Moyers
Producer: Thomas Lennon
Writers: Joseph Angier, Thomas Lennon, Bill Moyers, Mi Ling Tsui
Films Media Group
Purchase: $299.95 (US and Canada only)

Hosted by Bill Moyers, this three-part documentary spans the experience of Chinese-Americans from the mid-19th century California Gold Rush to the present.  The first program "Gold Mountain Dreams" explores the role that Chinese immigrants played in settling the American West and building the western leg of the Transcontinental Railroad.  "Between Two Worlds" examines the years following the 1882 Exclusion Act.  The final episode, "No Turning Back," looks at the place of Asian Americans in American society in the years following World War II. 

Becoming American: Personal Journeys is a three-part (30 minutes each) companion series that profiles and features interviews with five prominent Chinese Americans: David Ho, Shirley Young, Gish Jen, Samuel Ting, and Maya Lin. 

See also:

Zhao, Xiaojian. "Review: Becoming American: The Chinese Experience." The Journal of American History 91:3 (December 2004): 1143-1144.

Supplementary Materials
Becoming American: The Chinese Experience, Public Broadcasting System
Includes brief historical introductions to and summaries of each episode, video clips, a transcript of the first program, a viewer’s guide, an educator’s guide, a timeline of Chinese American history, and more.
Becoming American: The Chinese Experience, KQED Education Network
Includes a sample lesson plan for elementary level teachers, links to local resources, and other supplementary material.
Asian American Filmography ExEAS