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Halving the Bones
A film by Ruth Ozeki
1995, 70 minutes, Color/BW, DVD
Order No. W99097
Skeletons in the closet? HALVING THE BONES delivers a surprising twist to this tale. This cleverly-constructed film tells the story of Ruth, a half-Japanese filmmaker living in New York, who has inherited a can of bones that she keeps on a shelf in her closet. The bones are half of the remains of her dead Japanese grandmother, which she is supposed to deliver to her estranged mother. A narrative and visual web of family stories, home movies and documentary footage, HALVING THE BONES provides a spirited exploration of the meaning of family, history and memory, cultural identity and what it means to have been named after Babe Ruth!


  • Sundance Film Festival
  • International Documentary Association Award Nomination
  • Sydney & Melbourne Film Festivals
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival
  • San Francisco Asian American Film Festival
  • Montreal World Film Festival

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    “**** Editor’s Choice. One of my top one or two faves. Ozeki is both a terrific storyteller and a sly visual trickster; she seems to delight in keeping us off-guard, awake and thinking. Highly recommended for public and academic library collections.”
    Gary Handman
    Video Librarian

    “A lyrical and sharply-observed film .”
    Barbara Abrash

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    Halving the Bones is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us