Li-Shin Yu

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Li-Shin Yu

/ Director

Born January, 1996

My Story

Li-Shin Yu, is a New York-based filmmaker, editor 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.

A long-time collaborator of Ric Burns, their recent film Oliver Sacks: His Own Life is a critic’s choice on the festival and theatrical circuit. Their epic series NEW YORK: a documentary film is an eight-part production chronicling the city’s rise from a remote Dutch outpost to the cultural and economic center of the world, for which Yu received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Editing. Their other titles have garnered multiple awards including numerous Emmys, Peabodys, Writer’s Guild of America, Dupont-Columbia awards amongst others.

Yu began her career collaborating with New York independent filmmakers including Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee, Sara Driver and Peter Wang and more recently with documentarians Christine Choy, Bill Moyers, Thomas Lennon and Stanley Nelson.

My Filmography

  • Year Film Title Description
  • Plague at the Golden Gate Over 100 years before the deadly COVID-19 pandemic set off a nationwide wave of fear and anti-Asian sentiment, an outbreak of bubonic plague in San Francisco’s Chinatown unleashed a similar crisis. The death of a Chinese immigrant in 1900 would have likely gone unnoticed if a sharp-eyed medical officer hadn’t discovered a swollen black lymph node on his body — evidence of one of the world’s most feared diseases, bubonic plague. When others started dying, health officials and business leaders were torn about how to stave off an epidemic without causing panic and derailing the city’s booming economy. A fascinating medical mystery and timely examination of the tense relationship between the medical community, city powerbrokers and San Francisco’s Chinese-American community, Plague at the Golden Gate tells the gripping story of the desperate race against time to save San Francisco and the nation from the deadly plague. Based on David K. Randall’s Black Death at the Golden Gate, the film is directed by Li-Shin Yu (The Chinese Exclusion Act) and features interviews with a fascinating range of medical experts, authors and Asian-American historians.

My Award

  • Year Film Title Award(s)

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