Cast & Crew
Documentary that presents the history and contemporary legacy of early Asian immigrants to the Americas, from the 1700s to the 1900s. The first part explores the global economic and political forces that brought the first Filipinos, Chinese and Asian Indians to the shores of the Americas in the 18th and 19th centuries. The program traces the interlocking story of East and West, beginning with America's early trade with China and India, China's defeat in the Opium Wars and the subsequent waves of forced "coolie" labor that stemmed from China's loses and the end of the African slave trade. The second part portrays the large scale immigration of Chinese to California as free men during the Gold Rush, their central economic role in building the West, their efforts at creating community and sustaining their culture in the face of unyielding prejudices and their landmark legal battles to gain their rightful place in America.