Research results in lucky discovery for Sino-American filmmaker

By Tan Yingzi ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-08-18 07:49:04

Robin Lung discovered the long-lost movie Kukan in 2009, when she began researching the life of Li Ling-Ai for a documentary.

Lung, a fourth-generation Chinese-American from Hawaii, is a graduate of Stanford University and Hunter College in New York, and has made two documentaries about strong females from the island state-Liliuokalani, Hawaii's last Queen, and Patsy Mink, a Japanese-American congresswoman during the 1970s.

For her third feature, Ling planned to make a documentary about Li, another strong woman from Hawaii, and one who shared her Sino-US background.

Lung first learned about Li when she read a memoir the late filmmaker had written about her physician parents, who left China for Hawaii in the late 1800s.

"The biography of Li Ling-Ai that was on the jacket flap of the memoir intrigued me. This woman obviously had a very colorful and accomplished life, yet I had never heard of her before. What really intrigued me was that she claimed to be the co-producer of a film called Kukan. I had never heard of any female Chinese film producers who lived in the 1930s," Lung wrote in an e-mail exchange with China Daily.

However, she was unable to unearth much information about Li or the documentary, so she started out on a journey to find the missing movie.

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