Chris Kennedy

“I have no memory of my direction,” by Midi Onodera. June 26, 2018

I have no memory of my direction
dir. Midi Onodera | Canada 2005 | 77 min. Digital

Emerging on the Toronto independent filmmaking scene in the early ’80s under the aegis of the Funnel film co-op, Midi Onodera — who was recently announced as a recipient of this year’s Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts — has shown herself to be equally conversant with experimental, documentary, and narrative, never allowing any one form to fully define her. A rumination on cultural displacement, memory, and the meaning of images, Onodera’s feature-length I have no memory of my direction follows a third-generation Sansei woman who travels to Japan equipped with a video camera and a multi-lens still camera, documenting the exotic quotidian of a place inherited but not quite familiar. (An acknowledged touchstone here is Chris Marker’s masterpiece Sans Soleil.) Weaving in contemporaneous events like the Aum Shinrikyo cult’s subway attack and anti-Iraq War protests, Onodera’s portrait of Japan showcases the artist’s ability to look at a subject from her own unique perspective and share what she has found.

I have no memory of my direction is preceded by a brief selection of videos that Onodera made for her annual “challenge project,” in which she chooses a theme that she then explores through daily or monthly videos.

Midi Onodera in person