Obachan's Garden | Chicago Reader

Obachan's Garden

Linda Ohama's fascinating 2001 video documentary constructs a layered narrative about her centenarian grandmother, who left a privileged upbringing in Hiroshima to move to British Columbia in 1928. Asayo came to Canada as a picture bride but rejected her betrothed and married another man; her story touches on the plight of Japanese-Canadians during World War II, the incineration of her hometown, the fissures that crept into her marriage, and her work in the 70s and 80s cultivating a lavish garden that has since been named a historic site. During the shooting Ohama and the family discovered that her grandmother had left behind a husband and two daughters in Hiroshima (possibly out of shame for not having produced a son), and the video builds a considerable amount of suspense over their fate while poetically connecting images from the past and present. In English and subtitled Japanese. 95 min.

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