Filmmaker: Davina Pardo
Year of Release: 2011
TRT: 16 mins
Country of Origin/Filming: U.S./Japan
An ancient Japanese farmhouse rescued… An intimate story about architecture, memory and the meaning of home
When you share your life with someone, and build a home together, what remains after they’re gone? Do they ever truly leave the home you once shared? Or will their memory always remain, a permanent mark on every surface?
Minka – meaning “house of the people” – is a short documentary about a remarkable farmhouse and the memories it contains… In 1967, an American journalist John Roderick and Japanese architect Yoshihiro Takishita rescued an ancient house from the snow country of Japan, and their lives were forever changed. Roderick’s 2007 memoir “Minka: My Farmhouse In Japan,” inspired filmmaker Davina Pardo and journalist Andrew Blum to make a film about a house as a vessel of memory for these two men. However, on the cusp of filming Roderick, circumstances changed. Though always conceived as an intimate story about architecture, memory and the meaning of home, in Pardo’s words, “The minka became an elegy, a story about loss and grief.” (“In Japan, a Farmhouse Becomes a Journalist’s Elegy.” The New York Times.)