Denver Botanic Films Presents "Amache Rose"

February 13, 2023 Tiffany Coleman , Marketing Manager

Imagine walking across the high plains desert, no water as far as the eye can see, the tumbleweeds and dust plumes kicked up by the wind the only movement in the landscape. Your path takes you across old concrete foundations that scar the land; reminders of a not-so-distant past. Then you spot it among the tangles of prairie grass and husks of dead trees, growing where nothing has any business being alive: a rose bush. 

The film “Amache Rose” tells the story of this rose, planted 80 years ago by a prisoner at The Granada Relocation Center, or Camp Amache, the concentration camp in Granada, Colorado, that incarcerated Japanese Americans from 1942-1945. 

This is the first film created by Denver Botanic Films®, the new film department of Denver Botanic Gardens, and is based on archeologist Dr. Bonnie Clark’s work at Amache. Among the interviews in this short documentary are those of Amache survivors Carlene Tanigoshi Tinker and Minoru Tonai, who recount their experiences in the camp in the vast desert of southeast Colorado. “Amache Rose” has already been showcased in multiple film festivals, including the Denver Film Festival and the Nichi Bei Films of Remembrance Film Festival. 

That these roses are still living in the high desert of Colorado without proper care or watering for the last 80 years is truly remarkable. Now Denver Botanic Gardens is caring for clippings of the rose in our greenhouses. In March 2022, the Amache National Historic Site Act was signed into law by President Biden, designating the site as part of the National Park System. These are important steps in protecting the memory of Amache and sharing its story, so history does not repeat itself.  

“Amache Rose” will be screened in the beautiful Sturm Family Auditorium in the Freyer – Newman Center. No additional tickets or reservations needed beyond admission to the Gardens. Check the film schedule for the day of your next visit. 

Watch the “Amache Rose” trailer.


This article was contributed by Film Director and Producer, Denver Botanic Films Billy Kanaly, who directed “Amache Rose.” 



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