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Film: Plague at the Golden Gate Screening and Panel Discussion

Sunday, October 30, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Event Type:
San Francisco Public Library
Location Details:
San Francisco Main Library
100 Larkin St
San Francisco, CA 94102

Watch a 30-minute film segment followed by a panel discussion with Plague at the Golden Gate's director and producer.

Plague at the Golden Gate is available for viewing on PBS now. The full film is available with Chinese and Spanish subtitles. You're encouraged to see the full film before coming to this event.

More than 100 years before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world and set off a wave of fear and anti-Asian sentiment, an outbreak of bubonic plague in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1900 unleashed a similar furor. It was the first time in history that civilization's most feared disease-the infamous Black Death-made it to North America. Two doctors-vastly different in temperament, training and experience-used different methods to lead the seemingly impossible battle to contain the disease before it could engulf the country. In addition to overwhelming medical challenges, they faced unexpected opposition from business leaders, politicians and even the president of the United States. Fueling the resistance would be a potent blend of political expediency, ignorance, greed, racism and deep-rooted distrust of not only federal authority but science itself. Scapegoated as the source of the disease early on, the Chinese community fought back against unjust, discriminatory treatment. The gripping story of the desperate race against time to save San Francisco and the nation from the deadly disease, Plague at the Golden Gate is based in part on David K. Randall's critically acclaimed book, Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America From the Bubonic Plague.

Li-Shin Yu is a New York-based filmmaker and director of Plague at the Golden Gate for PBS's acclaimed series American Experience. Yu co-directed The Chinese Exclusion Act also for American Experience. James Q. Chan is an Emmy-nominated producer and director based in San Francisco. Recent producing credits include Plague at the Golden Gate and Chinatown Rising.

Added to the calendar on Tue, Sep 27, 2022 5:02PM
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