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The Displaced View
A film by Midi Onodera
Canada, 1988, 52 minutes, Color, VHS/16mm
Order No. W99058
THE DISPLACED VIEW is a film that movingly depicts the odyssey of an American-born Japanese granddaughter in search of her identity through her grandmother who is the last of the family born in Japan. The sense of isolation the granddaughter feels as a Japanese woman who cannot speak Japanese is skillfully evoked in a montage of images gleaned from old photographs, movies, animated puppets, and various experimental film techniques. Onodera focuses almost exclusively on Japanese women as preservers of the old traditions in a country where they have no meaning. By revealing the inconsistency of memory and the cultural erosion of assimilation, the fragile identity of the Japanese in North America is eloquently expressed, and the sense of alienation and displacement heightens as the old voices try to remember the past. The narrative shifts between English and Japanese, as well as between generations. Japanese subtitles are artfully displayed throughout. The focus on women makes this film ideal for women’s studies, but the historical overview would be important in other disciplines such as history and sociology. Highly recommended for academic libraries. -Roxanna Herrick, SUNY at Stony Brook Library


  • San Francisco Film Festival, Honorable Mention
  • Toronto Festival of Festivals
  • NY Asian American Int'l Film Festival
  • Montreal Int'l Women's Film Festival

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    "Rich, painterly imagery...The film's visual elegance is matched by emotional depth. "
    Cameron Bailey
    NOW Magazine

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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