As much a lyrical tone poem as it is a personal portrait, director Mackenzie Sheppard’s film, Oba-Chan feels like a meditative experience. Gorgeous black and white cinematography reveals the life and words of Oba-Chan, an 85-year-old Japanese farmer who tends to her land all by herself. Oba-Chan isn’t a romanticized heroine — the film never drifts into cliché. It simply captures her straightforward outlook. The key? Patience, hard work, and composure. As Oba-Chan puts it, “If you fret too much, you can’t move forward.”

The Atlantic has featured filmmaker Mackenzie Sheppard’s work before with Yoshi’s Blend, a documentary that depicts one man’s quest to bring hope to people following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami -- one cup of coffee at a time.

For more work by Mackenzie Sheppard, visit