Documentaries

Documentaries

104 Episodes

Meet some of life’s most colorful characters in these true stories.

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Documentaries
  • First Person Plural

    Episode 1

    Directed by Deann Borshay Liem • 2000 • United States
    Starring Deann Borshay Liem

    In 1966, Deann Borshay Liem was adopted by an American family and sent from Korea to her new home. Growing up in California, the memory of her birth family was nearly obliterated, until recurring dreams lead Deann ...

  • Oh, Saigon

    Episode 2

    Directed by Doan Hoang • 2007 • United States
    Starring Nam Hoang, Van Tran, Anne Hoang

    Doan Hoang’s family was airlifted out of Vietnam on April 30, 1975, on the last civilian helicopter to leave the country at the end of the Vietnam War. Years later, she sets out to uncover their story. Her fat...

  • When I Walk

    Episode 3

    Directed by Jason DaSilva • 2013 • United States
    Starring Alice Cook, Jason DaSilva

    Facing a life-altering multiple-sclerosis diagnosis at age twenty-five, filmmaker Jason DaSilva picked up a camera, turned it on his declining body, and set out on a worldwide journey in search of healing, self-d...

  • For My Alien Friend

    Episode 4

    Directed by Jet Leyco • 2019 • Philippines

    A lone stranger broadcasts fragments of life he has witnessed on Earth to an extraterrestrial friend, hoping to make a connection across space and time and to communicate the human experience to other beings. Spanning the cosmic and the comical, Jet Ley...

  • 95 and 6 to Go

    Episode 5

    Directed by Kimi Takesue • 2016 • United States

    Filmmaker Kimi Takesue finds an unlikely collaborator while visiting her grandfather Tom in Hawai’i. A recent widower in his nineties, Tom seems content to go about his daily routines until he shows surprising interest in his granddaughter’s stalle...

  • Wisdom Gone Wild

    Episode 6

    Directed by Rea Tajiri • 2022 • United States
    Starring Rose Noda, Rea Tajiri

    In this moving and original reflection on mortality and transformation, Rea Tajiri partners with her mother, Rose Tajiri Noda, to create a film about the final sixteen years of her life as a person living with dementia...

  • My America . . . or Honk If You Love Buddha

    Episode 7

    Directed by Renee Tajima-Peña • 1997 • United States
    Starring Renee Tajima-Peña, Victor Wong

    Intoxicating and irreverent, Renee Tajima-Peña’s award-winning documentary takes inspiration from Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” recapturing the novel’s spirit in a fresh and different journey through a n...

  • I Was Born, But . . .

    Episode 8

    Directed by Roddy Bogawa • 2004 • United States

    Taking its title from a silent classic by Yasujiro Ozu, this uncompromisingly personal diary film from Roddy Bogawa finds the director journeying through his memories, from his childhood in Hawaii to his involvement in the LA punk scene of the 1970...

  • The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir

    Episode 9

    Directed by Shirley MacLaine and Claudia Weill • 1975 • United States
    Starring Shirley MacLaine

    In 1973, the Chinese government invited a diverse group of American women—led by actor and activist Shirley MacLaine—to visit China for a rare, firsthand glimpse of life in a country that was still la...

  • Twinsters

    Episode 10

    Directed by Samantha Futerman and Ryan Miyamoto • 2015 • United Kingdom
    Starring Anaïs Bordier, Samantha Futerman, Kanoa Goo

    In February 2013, Anaïs Bordier, a French fashion student living in London, stumbled upon a YouTube video featuring Samantha Futerman, an actress in Los Angeles, and was s...

  • a.k.a. Don Bonus

    Episode 11

    Directed by Spencer Nakasako and Sokly Ny • 1995 • United States
    Starring Sokly Ny

    Working in collaboration with veteran filmmaker Spencer Nakasako, Sokly Ny (a.k.a. “Don Bonus”), an eighteen-year-old Cambodian refugee growing up in public housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, documents his sen...

  • Halving the Bones

    Episode 12

    Directed by Ruth Ozeki • 1995 • Japan, United States
    Starring Ruth Ozeki

    Skeletons in the closet? HALVING THE BONES delivers a surprising twist on the old saying. This cleverly constructed film tells the story of Ruth, a half-Japanese filmmaker living in New York, who has inherited a can of bone...

  • Who’s Going to Pay for These Donuts Anyway?

    Episode 13

    Directed by Janice Tanaka • 1992 • United States

    Through a brilliant collage of interviews, family photographs, archival footage and personal narration, Japanese American video artist Janice Tanaka documents her search for her father after a forty-year separation. The two reunited when Tanaka fo...

  • Meet Marlon Brando

    Episode 14

    Directed by Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin • 1966 • United States
    Starring Marlon Brando, Rex Morgan, Mary Frann

    MEET MARLON BRANDO is a delightful, unusually candid portrait of the legendary actor during a tongue-in-cheek confrontation with the press. While television journ...

  • Tongues Untied

    Episode 15

    Directed by Marlon Riggs • 1989 • United States

    Marlon Riggs’s landmark documentary uses poetry, personal testimony, rap, and performance (featuring poet Essex Hemphill and others) to describe the homophobia and racism faced by Black gay men. The stories are often devastating: the man refused en...

  • Greetings from Washington, D.C.

    Episode 16

    Directed by Lucy Winer • 1981 • United States
    Starring Rob Epstein, Jan Oxenberg, Terry Lawler

    On October 14, 1979, LGBTQ+ history was made when tens of thousands of people converged on America’s capital for the first ever National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. This empowering ...

  • Shinjuku Boys

    Episode 17

    Directed by Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams • 1995 • United Kingdom
    Starring Gaish, Tatsu, Kazuki

    This remarkable documentary offers rich insight into gender and sexuality in Japan via a candid portrait of Kazuki, Tatsu, and Gaish, three trans masc hosts working at the New Marilyn Club in Tokyo...

  • ocularis

    Episode 18

    Directed by Tran T. Kim-Trang • 1997 • United States

    This video highlights several narratives concerning video surveillance—not to reiterate the conventional privacy argument but rather to engage the desire to watch surveillance materials and society’s insatiable voyeurism. A variety of subjects...

  • alexia
    09:37
    Episode 19

    alexia

    Episode 19

    Directed by Tran T. Kim-Trang • 2000 • United States

    ALEXIA is an experimental video about word-blindness and metaphor. Word-blindness is a condition that usually afflicts people who have suffered a stroke, causing them to lose the visual recognition of individual letters but perceive the entire...

  • ekleipsis

    Episode 20

    Directed by Tran T. Kim-Trang • 1998 • United States

    In 1992, Tran T. Kim-Trang came across a New York Times article about a group of hysterically blind Cambodian women in Long Beach, California, known as the largest group of such people in the world. Hysterical blindness is sight loss brought a...

  • kore
    16:08
    Episode 21

    kore

    Episode 21

    Directed by Tran T. Kim-Trang • 1994 • United States

    By focusing on the blindfold, KORE explores the eye as purveyor of desire, sexual fear, and the fantasy of blindness. An alternative sexuality is founded in touch-based (feminine?) pleasure as opposed to a vision-based (masculine?) pleasure. A...

  • The Rabbit Hunt

    Episode 22

    Directed by Patrick Bresnan • 2017 • United States

    In the Florida Everglades, rabbit hunting is considered a rite of passage for young men. THE RABBIT HUNT follows seventeen-year-old Chris and his family as they hunt in the fields of the largest industrial sugar farms in the U.S. The film record...

  • aletheia

    Episode 23

    Directed by Tran T. Kim-Trang • 1992 • United States

    The introductory title to The Blindness Series, ALETHEIA presents an indexing of categories investigating different aspects of blindness as metaphor. Stylistic preference for the techniques and conventions of MTV, and American television in ge...

  • Epilogue: The Palpable Invisibility of Life

    Episode 24

    Directed by Tran T. Kim-Trang • 2006 • United States

    EPILOGUE: THE PALPABLE INVISIBILITY OF LIFE is the final chapter in the Blindness Series, a body of eight videos on blindness and its metaphors that was begun in 1992. The inspiration for the series came from a 1990 exhibition Jacques Derrida ...