Linda Ohama - Documentary Filmmaker
Tohoku no Shingetsu: A New Moon Over Tohoku is a moving story of love, survival and Japanese tradition in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Northeastern Japan.
Shot on location over 2.5 years in the coastal villages of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima, this film chronicles a healing journey of both the Canadian-Japanese filmmaker and the Japanese residents affected by the disaster.
For the first time voices from the Tohoku people speak out, breaking away from their cultural silence to share their own stories. They speak of the profound, mystical understanding that strength has always come from their ancestors, and that they too now hold a unique place in the Japanese cultural continuum of survival.
A young boy with a dream for the future and an old samurai with a new battle to fight: both discover something intangible and yet so essential to human life.
After a screening of her documentary, Japanese-Canadian Director Linda Ohama will show photos and talk about the 4 1/2 years she spent in Northeastern Japan in the aftermath of the 3.11 Tohoku disaster. Assistant Professor of Japanese at Bates College Justine Wiesinger (PhD, Yale ‘18), specializing in portrayals of disaster in film, will share her comments after the talk.
Linda Ohama is an independent documentary filmmaker, writer, educator and visual artist. Born and raised on a family potato farm in the small prairie community of Rainier, Alberta. Ohama is a third generation Canadian, whose grandparents immigrated to Canada from Japan in the early 1900’s.
Known for her docu-drama, Obaachan’s Garden, nominated for a Genie Award Best Feature Documentary, winner of three Audience Choice Awards (Vancouver, Newport Beach, and Turin Italy International Film Festivals), and 5 Leo Awards including Best Director and Best Writer of Documentary.
Her most recent feature documentary, Tohoku no Shingetsu: A New Moon Over Tohoku, was nominated for Best International Documentary at the Rome Independent Film Festival.
Justine Wiesinger, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Japanese at Bates, having been awarded her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and literatures by Yale University in 2018. She teaches both Japanese language courses and courses on Japanese culture, including literature, film, and theater.