|Li Ling-Ai and Rey Scott on tour for Kukan: The Battle Cry of China (1941)|
Earlier this year I mentioned Robin Lung's project about Kukan (1941), the lost Oscar-winning documentary about China's fight against Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War (WWII to us Yanks), and its forgotten filmmakers, Li Ling-Ai and Rey Scott. The above photo was taken during their publicity tour for the film. A similar photo — but with Li holding the camera — accompanied a piece in the San Francisco Chronicle (August 24, 1941). That article opened by saying, "the story behind the filming of the great Chinese film 'Kukan'... is a good motion picture plot in itself."
It's also a great idea for a documentary. More than 70 years later Robin Lung is rescuing the memory of Kukan and bringing to life the story of its production. As I'm sure you know, producing an independent film is not an easy task, especially when it involves the kind of exhaustive detective work that Robin is doing. (More than by-the-way, Kukan is currently being restored by the Academy Film Archive thanks in no small part to Robin's discovery of a 16mm print of the once-thought-lost film.)
Robin is now two-thirds of the way through production, and in order to continue she needs a helping hand from every one of you interested in this story. Last week she launched a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $16,000 for shooting and editing. She's already off to a great start but is going to need a lot more help to cross the finish line.
I hope you'll visit Robin's Kickstarter page, take a few minutes to watch her video appeal, and kick in some bucks to help her complete Finding Kukan. She's offering some really great premiums for all levels of donations, including a digital download of the completed film for a minimum donation of only 10 dollars. (Such generosity is typical of Robin.)
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for some of my own findings about Li Ling-Ai. I'm sure you'll agree that she's a fascinating woman whose story deserves to be told.