BELFAST – The Camden Conference presents the PBS American Experience film The Chinese Exclusion Act, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6 p.m., at the Belfast Free Library.
The documentary was directed by Ric Burns and his longtime collaborator Li-Shin Yu (who was an editor on the 2003 PBS series Becoming American: The Chinese Experience, which covered some of the same ground, according to a news release).
The film is centered on the 1882 act of the title, the first American law to restrict the immigration of a particular ethnic group and ban its members from citizenship.
This event is free and open to all.
From a New York Times review of the film, May 28, 2018:
"The filmmakers and their cast of mostly Asian-American historians frame the Exclusion Act as part of a long national narrative of racism, xenophobia, predatory capitalism and political calculation. The China trade and the Opium Wars, the Civil War and the collapse of Reconstruction, and cycles of economic depression and labor unrest all figure into a story that doesn’t begin to turn until well after World War II. It’s also a cautionary tale, reminding us that open ideas about immigration and citizenship that are now under attack have only had currency since the 1960s."
This presentation is hosted by the Belfast Free Library and offered as a free community event in in anticipation of the 32nd Annual Camden Conference – Is This China’s Century?, February 22-24, 2019.
The mission of the Camden Conference is to foster informed discourse on world issues. For more information, visit www.camdenconference.org or call 207-236-1034.