Friday, February 06, 2009

Butte, America

Tonight Leif and I went to see the Bozeman Premier of Butte, America, a film about, well, Butte! The first showing was in Butte, but Pamela Roberts is from Bozeman, so the film's second showing was here in town, at the Emerson. Tickets were free, and it was a packed house. By packed house, I mean that every seat in the theater was filled and they turned away quite a few people who were hoping for tickets. And after the lights went down, I saw a guy carry a folding chair waaaay up into the top of the balcony, I'm guessing because he'd gotten in, but hadn't gotten a seat.

The film was good. I wouldn't mind owning a copy of it. It definitely gave me a better understanding of the culture and history surrounding Butte. Living in a neighboring town, there were things that I never quite understood about Butte. I didn't understand the pride that people have in a mining town. I didn't understand how this once great town had fallen to where it is today. I didn't understand what happened to all its past glory because, well, I've driven through Butte and there isn't much of that past glory still standing. And I didn't understand "Our Lady of the Rockies."

The film answered a lot of these questions, but more than that, it put flesh on what had been a skeleton of historical fact. Rarely seen photographs and footage offered perspective about the mining town that I hadn't had before. Personal testimony from miners and their families brought the days and nights to life for those of us in the audience. The stories intertwined on a timeline not only of Butte's history, but the history of the world, painted a picture of what it was like when copper was king.

Butte, America will broadcast on PBS in the fall, and will be available for purchase on DVD at that time as well. Prior to its television and DVD release, I believe that the film will make its way around select cities in the U.S. If you have the opportunity to go see it, I highly recommend it. And if you don't happen to live in one of the cities where it is playing, don't worry... just come visit us after it comes out on DVD. We'll probably make you watch it. ;D (And then we'll all go on a field trip to see the Berkley Pit.)

1 comment:

Susan Beth said...

Sounds like something to look forward to this fall! Glad you got a date night.