The Traveling Reverend was my second film for the A Scattering of Seeds television series produced by Toronto filmmaker Peter Raymont and White Pine Pictures.
During the research and filming, I accidentally discovered a rich archive of 8mm film in the basement of the elderly Reverend's house in Raymond, Alberta.
This valuable record of history was shot by Reverend Kawamura during his extensive travels as a minister during and after World War II.
He recorded visits to interned families who labored in remote sugar beet fields, the community celebrations, the deaths and weddings at a time when many Japanese Canadians did not have cameras, let alone movie cameras, because of the war.
Some of his original footage is included in The Traveling Reverend, and other footage from this collection was used in the sugar beet scenes of my other film, Obaachan's Garden.
On one other day during the filming, we visited a wrecked Buddhist church left abandoned on the prairies. Boards and windows broken, cobwebs and thick dust everywhere.
As we explored the rooms and filmed the scenes for The Traveling Reverend, we discovered piles of thrown out old photographs.
Amongst these old pictures was one of my grandmother's (obaachan’s) smiling face and myself as a child. Faint memories of chanting and incense in the air, the Japanese songs and foods returned to me. These would become the hints for another film that I independently began producing in the following years: Obaachan's Garden.
These found and unexpected connections often lead me to new works. Unexplainably they appear and naturally unearth stories embedded in me, leading to a much larger story to tell.
Life really is a thread of connecting time, place and people…bringing them full circle once again.