The Chinese Exclusion Act

2018

The Chinese Exclusion Act

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Movie Info

On May 6th, 1882 - on the eve of the greatest wave of immigration in American history - President Chester A. Arthur signed into law a unique piece of federal legislation. Called the Chinese Exclusion Act, it singled out by name and race a single nationality for special treatment: making it illegal for Chinese laborers to enter America on pain of imprisonment and for Chinese nationals ever to become citizens of the United States. The Chinese Exclusion Act, a two-hour film for national broadcast on PBS during the 2018 season, will explore in riveting detail this little known, yet deeply resonant and revealing episode in American history - one that sheds enormous light on key aspects of the history of American civil liberties, immigration, and culture - during one of the most formative periods of U.S. history. A deeply American story - about immigration and national identity, civil rights and human justice; about how we define who can be an American, and what being an American means - the film examines the economic, cultural, social, legal, racial and political dimensions of the law; the forces and events that gave rise to it; and the effect it has had, and continues to have, on American culture and identity

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Critic Reviews for The Chinese Exclusion Act

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (2)

  • Defining what it means to be an American has been an imperfect and ongoing struggle since the nation began, but The Chinese Exclusion act is doing its part to make sure that conversation stays alive.

    May 30, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

    Hanh Nguyen

    indieWire
    Top Critic
  • It's well-produced, exhaustive in its facts and stories, and its importance. It will also challenge the current discussion of U.S. immigration policy. I've had to shift my thinking as a result.

    May 29, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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