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PACIFIC HEARTBEAT: Tonga: The Last Place On Earth

Airs Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: The scene outside a prison gate, Tonga. "Tonga: Last Place On Earth" examines the deportation of convicted criminals of Tongan descent from the U.S. to the tiny island nation of Tonga for "rehabilitation."

Courtesy of American Public Television

A rural home, Tonga. "Tonga: Last Place On Earth" examines the deportation of convicted criminals of Tongan descent from the U.S. to the tiny island nation of Tonga for "rehabilitation."

Courtesy of American Public Television

Sione Kaloamatangi, resident of Tonga. "Tonga: Last Place on Earth" examines the deportation of convicted criminals of Tongan descent from the U.S. to the tiny island nation of Tonga for "rehabilitation."

PACIFIC HEARTBEAT is a new anthology series that provides viewers a glimpse of the real Pacific—its people, cultures, languages, music, and contemporary issues. From revealing exposés to rousing musical performances, the series features a diverse array of programs that will draw viewers into the heart and soul of Pacific Island culture.

"Tonga: The Last Place On Earth" - Tonga, an archipelago of 169 islands in the South Pacific, cut off from modernity as it is physically from the Western world.

Each month, however, the United States deports ethnic Tongans convicted of murder, gang violence and other serious crimes to this peaceful island kingdom.

Forced to leave behind spouses, children, and family in the U.S., the convicts arrive to an unfamiliar homeland and met by a community wary of their presence.

The film explores whether Tonga can absorb this influx of hardened criminals and whether these men and women can adapt and survive in exile or revert to their violent ways.

UP NEXT:

PACIFIC HEARTBEAT "Na Lani 'Eha From 'Iolani Palace: The Music of Hawaiian Royalty" airs Friday, May 17, 2013 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV.

PACIFIC HEARTBEAT is on Facebook.

Video

Preview: Pacific Heartbeat: Tonga: The Last Place On Earth

Above: Tonga, an archipelago of 169 islands in the South Pacific, cut off from modernity as it is physically from the Western world. Each month, however, the United States deports ethnic Tongans convicted of murder, gang violence and other serious crimes to this peaceful island kingdom. Forced to leave behind spouses, children, and family in the U.S., the convicts arrive to an unfamiliar homeland and met by a community wary of their presence. This film explores whether Tonga can absorb this influx of hardened criminals and whether these men and women can adapt and survive in exile or revert to their violent ways.

Video

Preview: Pacific Heartbeat: Season Two

Above: PACIFIC HEARTBEAT is an anthology series that provides viewers a glimpse of the real Pacific—its people, cultures, languages, music, and contemporary issues. From revealing exposés to rousing musical performances, the series features a diverse array of programs that will draw viewers into the heart and soul of Pacific Island culture. PACIFIC HEARTBEAT comes to Public Television through a partnership between Pacific Islanders in Communications and PBS Hawaii, and is presented and distributed by Boston-based American Public Television. It is an unprecedented collection of critically acclaimed documentaries centered on the Pacific Islander experience. For more information visit pacificheartbeat.org