Users follow the story by tapping, swiping, inspecting and zooming in on key elements within each scene. Every interaction activates a piece of scripted narrative spoken by Joy’s own granddaughter, Anne. Spoken in the first person, each line illuminates a different aspect of life in the camp, as documented in Yuki’s journal.
While the story is completely original, the subject matter derives from Joy Kogawa’s life and novel, Obasan. It, too, was told through the eyes of a child.
At 83, Kogawa decided it was time to tell her story to a new generation, using a completely new medium. It’s a brilliant way to bring our history and lessons from the past to today’s audiences.
The National Film Board’s website includes a free downloadable English and French PDF learning kit based on East of the Rockies for high schools, featuring lessons on life in the various internment camps, repatriation and the impact of Canada’s policies on future generations.
East of the Rockies is now available exclusively on the iOS App Store. Download it free until March 8 and then for $2.99.