“Every Day is a Holiday” premieres on public television in May 2012

asianave May 7, 2012 Comments Off

“Every Day is a Holiday”
Sunday, May 20, 2012
4:00 pm MST
Rocky Mountain PBS

In conjuction with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Memorial Day, “Every Day Is a Holiday,” a warm and intimate portrait of Paul Loong’s secret past as a POW in Japan and his journey to becoming an American will premiere on public television.

While growing up in suburban New Jersey, Chinese-American filmmaker Theresa Loong knew little about her father’s past. Then, one day she discovered his secret diary, written when he was a teenager and POW in a Japanese work camp during World War II. In it, he vowed to make “every day a holiday” if he ever survived.

Told through Loong’s eyes, “Every Day Is a Holiday” tells the life-affirming story of her father’s unlikely journey, from Chinese Malay teenager and Japanese POW, to merchant seaman, American soldier, Veterans Affairs doctor and proud citizen of the country that liberated him: the United States. Using intimate conversations, rare archival footage and his wartime diary, the film traces how, through sheer strength of will and a remarkably positive outlook, Paul Loong overcame the horrors of war and obstacles as an immigrant, truly making “every day a holiday.”

This is an inspiring and moving portrait of an unforgettable American. Growing up, filmmaker Theresa Loong recalls a cheerful father who loved to laugh and play pranks on his children, but underneath all that laughter, he would show occasional flashes of anger and sadness. When one day young Theresa asked him innocently about a curious scar on his back, he simply said, “Everyone has secrets.” It wasn’t until Theresa discovered a hidden diary her father kept while imprisoned, that she uncovered what those secrets were.

With a steel-trap memory and joyful spirit, at 88 years old, Paul is commemorating his 66th year of freedom. “Every Day Is a Holiday” celebrates the freedom that comes with confronting the past and facing the future with resilience,
forgiveness, and love.

For more information, visit www.itvs.org/films/every-day-is-a-holiday.

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