Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust

USA202184 minEnglishCanadian PremiereDocumentary, Women Filmmakers

About four hours from Los Angeles, on the dusty valley floor beneath the snow-capped Sierra mountains, lies a single white obelisk gravestone, one of the iconic remains of the notorious Manzanar camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. But the valley wasn’t always so. Payahuunadü, or “the land of flowing water,” Owens Valley is the home of the Nüümü (Paiute) and Newe (Shoshone) people who, years earlier, were forced from their land after ranchers and farmers claimed it, while the Los Angeles water department later drained the valley dry, diverting its water to the thirsty city.  

Ann Kaneko’s Manzanar, Diverted invokes this history to tell the story of generations of women: Native American, Japanese American WWII incarcerees, and environmentalists, fighting for the future of the valley. Through a mix of testimonials, archival, and aerial photography, Kaneko weaves intersectional histories with the urgency of the present.  

- Aram Siu Wai Collier



Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, 2021

DOXA Documentary Film Festival, 2021

CAAMFest, 2021

Director Bio

Ann Kaneko

Ann Kaneko is known for her personal films that weave her intimate aesthetic with the complex intricacies of political reality. Her work has screened internationally and been broadcast on PBS Independent Lens and NewsHour. Her wig-shop musical 100% Human Hair played Reel Asian in 2002.

10 Nov, 2021

to 19 Nov, 2021



In Partnership With

Community Partner

Community Supporter 

DOXA Documentary Film Festival


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