Manzanar Diverted

Manzanar, Diverted

Thursday, May 4, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
  • Library Hall
When Water Becomes Dust ... a story of stolen water and unexpected alliances at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains

At the foot of the majestic snow-capped Sierras sits Manzanar, the site of the World War II concentration camp where 11,070 Japanese Americans were incarcerated from March 1942 to November 1945. This place is the confluence for memories of Payahuunadü, the now-parched “land of flowing water.” In Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust, filmmakers Ann Kaneko and Jin Yoo-Kim document the struggles 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. At Manzanar, intergenerational women from Native American, Japanese American and rancher communities form an unexpected alliance to defend their land and water from Los Angeles.

By connecting Manzanar to California’s environmental and political history, the documentary shows the intersectionality of three communities mistreated by government entities that have not served the interests of all of their people. When these three communities joined forces, they were able to successfully triumph over the behemoth of LADWP.

This event is a collaboration with POV, the award-winning nonfiction film series on PBS:

Run Time: 

84 min.

About POV 

Produced by American Documentary, Inc., POV is public television’s premier showcase for nonfiction films. Since 1988, POV has been the home for the world’s boldest contemporary filmmakers, celebrating intriguing personal stories that spark conversation and inspire action. Always an innovator, POV discovers fresh new voices and creates interactive experiences that shine a light on social issues and elevate the art of storytelling. With our documentary broadcasts, original online programming and dynamic community engagement campaigns, we are committed to supporting films that capture the imagination and present diverse perspectives. POV films have won every major film and broadcasting award including 36 Emmys, 20 George Foster Peabody Awards, 12 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Broadcast Journalism Awards, three Academy Awards®, two George Polk Documentary Film Awards and the Prix Italia.

POV’s Community Engagement and Education team works with educators, community organizations and PBS stations to present more than 650 free screenings every year. In addition, POV distributes free discussion guides and standards-aligned lesson plans for each film. Learn more at or follow @povdocs on Twitter.