Terra Verde

Manzanar Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust

Ann Kaneko and Jin Yoo-Kim, the filmmaking team that produced the documentary Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust, join Fiona McLeod to discuss their film. 

Manzanar is the site of the World War II concentration camp, where over 11,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated from March 1942 to November 1945. Manzanar sits at the foot of the Sierras in Owens Valley, known to the region’s Indigenous peoples, the Paiute and Shoshone, as Payahuunadü, or the “land of flowing water.” The valley, which is where the Los Angeles aqueduct starts, is now parched dry. 

Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust documents the struggle of intergenerational women who share histories of forced removal: Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at the camp, Native Americans who were driven from these lands, and farmers and ranchers turned environmentalists, who were bought out by the LA Department of Water and Power.