Thursday, February 25, 2010

Documentary drama

Posted on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 4:00 AM

In the beginning, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (see “A fan’s guide to the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival,” Feb. 11, 2010) committed to screen my film, Hear The Buffalo, at this year’s event. This film advocates ending the Yellowstone Park bison hunt and for the safety of the herd. The film is controversial. In the end, however, Big Sky censored the film from screening for esoterically lame reasons of their own. Janet Rose, on the other hand, welcomed our film at her CINE event at the Roxy. Go figure.

Frankly, I have no problem with Big Sky yanking off a bison advocacy film. That is entirely their business. What disturbs is the exploitative use of the bison image in all their advertising. Higgins Street is inundated with their bison image ads. Their website flaunts mega images of the bison. And their preview guide is emblazoned with bison. People in our region care deeply about wildlife. How is it that the Big Sky Film Festival censors a buffalo advocacy film, yet hypocritically exploits the image to sell seats? Is this business as usual?

And why should anyone complain about the white buffalo image, sacred to Native Americans, plastered upon a tub of popcorn on the Independent’s front page? It makes good business sense, right?

All is not lost, however. Anyone wishing to view Hear The Buffalo, can see it for free, that is, no charge, on the website www.worldwidefilmexpedition.org. Enjoy!

Gene Bernofsky

Director

World Wide Film Expeditions

Missoula

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