This post started out as simply a DVD review of a great movie and a chance for one lucky reader to receive a free copy. But through the generosity of Director Hunter Weeks, there is now an opportunity to help the victims of our town, Sandy Hook, CT.
According to Hunter, “I thought a lot about the film after hearing about the shootings. The story is one that captures the essence of life and unfortunately death is a key part of our lives….sometimes way to soon and in an unfair way. After spending that time on the Yellowstone, I hoped that people would see life and death in different way through the stories people told about losing loved ones and through the natural cycle of life. It’s not an easy thing to deal with or even think about, but it’s something we all eventually face and so does every living aspect of a river system. . . . If you are interested, I’d love to give 100% of the proceeds from any DVD or store sales you direct our way to the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings.”
I am touched by his generous offer and his willingness to help our community. The movie review, giveaway and link to the online store appear below. Please use the discount code love and press Update when ordering the DVD.
I have to be honest. This is not the first nor the only review of Where The Yellowstone Goes. My interest is due, in part, to a review I read on another blog. A little work with Google and you can find other opinions that will tout how great this film is. It has created a lot of buzz.
I contacted Director Hunter Weeks and he graciously provided me with 2 DVD copies of the movie. One of these will be shared with a lucky winner who writes a reply to this post.
The synopsis from the movie’s web site says that it ” . . . follows a 30-day drift boat journey down the longest undammed river in the contiguous United States. “ I will tell you that it contains much more.
While I was expecting the usual “grip and grin” shots of anglers pulling fish from the mighty river, what I found was very different but equally compelling.
The premise is simple: a small group of friends float down the Yellowstone for 30 days. Along the way they experience all the things Montana has to offer: Spectacular scenery, a sky that only ends at the mountains, cottonwoods that line the river for miles, grazing cattle, sheep drives and swarms of mayflies.
One of the best scenes in the movie is when a local pilot takes them on a flight over the Badlands in a small airplane. The view was both peaceful and exquisite, and proves that there is still unspoiled beauty in this country.
Like any good trip, the real story is the people you meet and the towns you visit. Places with names like Emigrant, Livingston, Custer, Reedpoint, Terry and Miles City. Tiny dots on a map, but filled with people with a sense of community.
And along the way the adventurers encounter a cast of characters including ranchers, a saddlemaker, a widowed ex-schoolteacher, and my favorites, the semi-professional bakers known as the Cake Ladies.
The group slept in tents and chose to enjoy everything that camping has to offer: campfires on the river bank, windstorms, breakfast burritos, pouring rain, the smell of fresh coffee, and when the right fish is caught, celebration cigars.
The river provides its own intrigue. Churning, flowing, reflective and calming, it offers both transportation and challenges. One night they have to chase down a drift boat that broke free, only to find it downstream virtually untouched.
And the Yellowstone is also fragile. Locals remind them that encroaching civilization and energy company drilling puts this beauty at risk. They realize how delicate the river really is when they float through a section ravaged by a ruptured Exxon pipeline, greeted by less-than-friendly cleanup workers.
And yes, there is some fishing. Trout, smallmouth, catfish, whitefish, carp and a great story about the mythical paddlefish.
Over 500 miles later they finally arrive at the launch with a new respect for the river and the people that live along its banks. This was a journey that will be frequently remembered and not soon forgotten.
For more information and to purchase your own copy of the DVD, see the official web site and store here. If you are interested in helping the victims of Sandy Hook, please enter love in the discount code on the checkout and press Update.
Many thanks again to Hunter Weeks for his generosity. Much appreciated.
And now for the giveway! Simply reply to this post. On January, 31 2013, one lucky winner will be chosen at random. All winners will be subject to the Contest Rules.