Films That Move by The Redford Center

Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust

Expired May 31, 2023 7:30 AM
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Join us to experience an exciting collaboration between The Redford Center, a leading US nonprofit dedicated to environmental impact filmmaking, and Imagine5, an international impact media foundation. Through this partnership, we are proud to present an enhanced Redford Center film offering, Films That Move – a free screening series that is packed with inspiring content to move you and your community into action.

An inspired and poetic portrait of a place and its people, MANZANAR, DIVERTED: WHEN WATER BECOMES DUST follows intergenerational women from three communities who defend their land, their history and their culture from the insatiable thirst of Los Angeles. In this fresh retelling of the LA water story, Native Americans, Japanese-American WWII incarcerees and environmentalists form an unexpected alliance to preserve Payahuunadü (Owens Valley), “the land of flowing water.”

Featuring breathtaking photography and immersive soundscapes, the film recounts more than 150 years of history, showing how this distant valley is inextricably tied to the city of Los Angeles. It reveals the forced removals of two peoples–the Nüümü (Paiute) and the Newe (Shoshone) who were marched out of the Valley in the 1860s by the US Army and Japanese Americans who were brought here from their West Coast homes and incarcerated in a World War II concentration camp. Water lured outsiders in and continues to fuel the greed which has sucked this once lush place dry.


Raise awareness about past and present forced removals nationwide that have impacted the wellbeing of people and the planet with the following resources: 

- Check out the film’s interactive website which features a new historical timeline and many educational resources. 

- For the month of May, the broadcast version of the film is now streaming on PBS’ POV. Share it with your friends who are unable to view through our screening window.

- Dive deep into the film’s educational curriculum hosted by POV. Resources are at the bottom of the page.

- Join the film team in creating a healing space for dealing with intergenerational trauma from the effects of forced removal. Sign up for their newsletter to get updates on an AR visual sound bath experience to connect to the Payahüünadü. 

- Empower audiences with tools to generate discovery of their own histories in relation to forced removal. Please support the Owens Valley Indian Water Commission in their efforts to raise money for Three Creeks, a land back project, and the Manzanar Committee for their Katari educational program and future pilgrimages.

- Spread awareness and host your own community screening of the film.

  • Year
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Social Media
  • Director
    Ann Kaneko
  • Producer
    Ann Kaneko
  • Executive Producer
    Tracy Rector
  • Co-Producer
    Jin Yoo-Kim
  • Editor
    Susan Metzger