Fighting for Mental Health Awareness & Democracy: What to Watch in July
Among the countless systemic issues in the United States exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health and well-being have been at the top of the list. And with that, the glaring lack of awareness and resources has shifted into focus for Americans. While initiatives are being created across the country to address current conditions and help those who are struggling, the U.S. continues to face a crisis that disproportionately affects communities of color, LGBTQIA+ youth and other underrepresented voices. During BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month this July, WORLD Channel showcases the many stories of mental health as captured in eye-opening films such as Any Given Day and the two-part Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness. Also this month, WORLD turns its attention to democracy and the global fight to save it. In a new four-part series, Afghanistan: The Wounded Land explores representation, equity and sovereignty through the never-ending war which has plagued the country for decades. Watch films and features this July that advocate for the fight for mental health awareness and freedom around the world while looking forward to a more open-minded, just and promising future.
Frances Rubio Honors Her Father's Life While Addressing Caretaking and Mental Health in 'Recording for Dodie'
In 'Recording for Dodie,' filmmaker Frances "Frankie" Rubio (she/they) turns the camera on themself as she copes with caretaking while separated from their father, Eduardo "Dodie" Rubio, who is quarantined at a nursing facility during the pandemic. Through personal narrative and archival home video, she tells their story of father and daughter in a delicate, loving tribute to the quick-witted, kind-hearted man she grew up with. Rubio also presents a vulnerable portrait of the mental and physical toll caregivers experience day-to-day and over an extended period of time. Rubio spoke with WORLD Channel about their favorite memories of "Dodie," and how, through filmmaking, she can uphold the legacy of compassion and strength he has left behind.
J.P. Dobrin Explores the Unsettled Experience of AAPI Refugees in 'The Lookout'
As a young man, Chanthon Bun was arrested following a non-violent robbery and spent the next two decades in California’s San Quentin State Prison. In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bun, a Cambodian refugee who arrived in the U.S. as a child and had now lost his right to live in the country, was released, but not into the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as he was expecting. In ‘The Lookout,’ filmmaker J.P. Dobrin documents Bun’s life under the threat of deportation as he provides support for others like himself, telling a story of immigration, family and advocacy with a complex perspective. The Korean American filmmaker spoke with WORLD Channel about the experiences of AAPI immigrants and refugees in America, and how sharing stories like ‘The Lookout’ helps dispel monolithic myths.
Filmmaker Bree Nieves' 'Malditas' Explores Identity, Faith and Family After Loss
In her short film ‘Malditas,’ Bree Nieves documents how her Catholic Filipino community grapples with grief after the death of her uncle Vince. Nieves centers the film around herself and her cousin Giselle coming to terms with their new reality in the conservative Florida county they were raised in. Through heartbreak and celebration, she further examines her multi-racial heritage, devout faith and familial relationships. The Filipinx-Puerto Rican filmmaker talked to WORLD Channel about her film and how the intersections of her identity came into play in telling her family’s story.
Finding Help and Healing Amid Grief: Resources and Support
The scope of violence has no limits, and the effects of trauma, and the burden it places, ripple far beyond what can be managed on our own. WORLD Channel offers resources to support the individuals, families and communities across the country coping with grief while searching for hope and healing. If you or a loved one is looking for support, help is out there.
Kimberlee Bassford's 'My Chinatown, With Aloha' Is a Love Letter to Honolulu Chinatown and Her Chinese-Hawaiian Roots
In ‘My Chinatown, With Aloha,’ filmmaker Kimberlee Bassford explores the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Honolulu’s Chinatown community, weaving in a historical narrative of the 1899 bubonic plague in Hawai’i. The film highlights how each public health crisis transformed the neighborhood. Bassford, a fourth-generation resident of Chinese and Filipino descent, used her family’s own personal history to tell a story of community strength in the face of both social and economic adversity. The Honolulu-based director, who also produced, wrote and edited the short film, spoke with WORLD Channel about the histories that drive her film, how we can move forward after hardships in the past and why the community remains as tenacious as ever.
Stories of PRIDE & Visibility: What to Watch on WORLD in June
In June of 1969, members of the LGBTQIA+ community took to the streets of New York City for six days as a result of the police raid of Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village. The protests motivated political activism for LGBTQIA+ rights and led to the founding of organizations like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and GLAAD. Today, June marks the celebration of PRIDE, a time to be proud of one’s truest self. WORLD Channel honors the month, and LGBTQIA+ trailblazers and progressives, with films and specials that recognize what it means to own your identity and find belonging in a community, with other features this month from Stories from the Stage, America ReFramed and POV exploring righting injustices and encouraging inclusiveness for all.
Forging an Understanding of the Sikh Experience: Sarita Khurana on 'Crossroads'
On April 15, 2021, former FedEx employee Brandon Scott Hole arrived at the Indianapolis hub, where he once was employed, and opened fire. He killed eight people, four of whom were Sikh Americans. In ‘Crossroads,’ director Sarita Khurana examines the shooting, the investigation and the impact through the voices of the victims’ loved ones and organizations in Indianapolis’s Sikh community. Khurana with WORLD Channel about her South Asian heritage and how telling underrepresented stories sheds light on the experiences of communities of color and fosters greater understanding.
Chinatowns: The Stories of Its History and Community
As Chinese migrants ventured to the United States in the mid-1800s to find work, they were met with pay inequity, dangerous work conditions and anti-Asian sentiment. As a way to find sanctuary amid segregation, and create a livelihood for themselves, they settled together in enclaves known as Chinatowns. Systemic social deterrents, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, threaten these ethnic neighborhoods today. This AAPI Heritage Month, WORLD Channel shines a light on Chinatowns across America, from Boston to Chicago and Honolulu, and honors the people who have built and sustain these beloved neighborhoods.
The Legacy and Future of a Refugee Family: Quyên Nguyen-Le on 'In Living Memory'
As refugees from Vietnam, filmmaker Quyên Nguyen-Le’s (they/them) parents resettled in the U.S. and began a journey for their American Dream. They opened a nail salon, which represented the family’s livelihood until 2020; Nguyen-Le’s mother was forced to close the business during the pandemic. In “In Living Memory,” the director memorializes their mother’s salon and recalls what it symbolized for their family. Nguyen-Le spoke about how family history and their mother’s influence shaped who they are and how they’ve evolved.