Louise Noguchi

2010, 28:17 minutes, colour, English


Director Louise Noguchi travels to the shrines of martyred “heroes” from North America and Japan. At her ancestral countries’ landmarks, she discovers meditative spaces with mounting levels of violence in their histories.

Noguchi visits the Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland, Ontario and remembers the slain Jesuit priests Brebeuf and Lalement. She tours the shrine to Catherine Tekakwitha in Upstate New York, where the 17th century Mohawk Aboriginal converted to Catholicism with a zealousness that brought on her own death. In Japan, Noguchi travels to the historic home of General Nogi and his wife, who committed ritual suicide. She also visits Tokyo's controversial Yasukuni shrine and witnesses a recent protest where visitors clash over the shrine’s commemoration of Japan’s militaristic past.

Through Noguchi’s visits to shrines, her discussions with visitors and commentary from experts, she exposes the horrific pasts of her native countries’ peaceful landmarks.

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