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This film is followed by a prerecorded Q&A.


What do the water rights of Indigenous people in Southern California have to do with Manzanar, a World War II internment camp for Japanese Americans? American filmmaker Ann Kaneko expertly entwines these strands into a powerful story about the cultural and historical significance of water in the Owens Valley. The film connects the displacement of Indigenous people with the movement and imprisonment of Japanese Americans and the contemporary coalitions working to protect the disappearing ecosystem. Kaneko insists that these are all facets of the same story, while uncovering how official entities like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have made decisions regarding how the landscape should be used—and for whose benefit. Indigenous people who were relocated, Japanese Americans who were interned, park rangers and activists are all at work to reclaim this site and its histories, invoking the value of memory and storytelling in the quest for a sustainable future. This is an ambitious, elegant and evocative film that captures the beauty rooted in a dusty, contentious landscape. -KR


Community Partner

  • Year
    2020
  • Runtime
    77 minutes
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
    Canada
  • Director
    Ann Kaneko
  • Producer
    Jin Yoo-Kim
  • Executive Producer
    Tracy Rector
  • Cinematographer
    Ann Kaneko
  • Editor
    Ann Kaneko, Susan Metzger
  • Sound Design
    Ben Huff