A filmmaker turns detective to uncover the forgotten story of Li Ling-Ai, the uncredited female producer of KUKAN, an Academy Award-winning color documentary about World War II China that has been lost for decades.
In the late 1930s, China is in dire straits. The country will collapse under Japan’s military juggernaut if it doesn’t get outside help. Chinese-American firebrand Li Ling-Ai jolts Americans into action with a new medium—16mm Kodachrome color film. She hires photojournalist Rey Scott to travel to China and capture a citizen’s perspective of the war-torn country, including the massive bombing of the wartime capital Chungking (now Chongqing). Their landmark film KUKAN screens for President Roosevelt at the White House, is called “awesome” by The New York Times and receives one of the first Academy Awards for a feature documentary in 1942. Why have we never heard of Li Ling-Ai? And why have all copies of KUKAN disappeared? Filmmaker Robin Lung goes on a seven-year quest to find the answers.
Filmmaker Robin Lung visits the Pioneer Valley for a screening of her award-winning film, Finding KUKAN, followed by a question-and-answer session.