Reminder from the North

David Tucker's picture

Jumbo Wild review.

Every fall, about a dozen filmmakers and production companies send screeners our way, hoping we'll use what influence we have to convince locals to cough up anywhere from five to 20 dollars to see the latest and greatest in winter-sports porn. The installments from said production companies are relatively formulaic—big terrain, big tricks, big deal. And while we find ourselves glued to our screens, declaring to ourselves that "this is going to be the year" – and then a few hours later, for seemingly no reason at all, browsing Salomon's new freeride line – the films have no lasting impression. They are entertainment, which is what they should be.

Jumbo Wild, Patagonia, British Columbia
Click image for trailer.

But every once in a while, a film comes along that strikes a chord. Jumbo Wild is such a film, and it should strike a chord for many a Bozemanite these days. The film's premise is not original – in fact it is all too common. Major urban developer comes to small town (in this case population zero) and tries to build a shrine to himself and his cronies. Tail as old as time, right?

Jumbo Mountain, Jumbo Wild Film

The fact that the story is not new, does not, however, diminish the film's power or its sense of urgency. The viewer might find himself asking, "Really? Again?" while another courtroom scene with out-of-touch politicans plays out in front of him. The fact that the debate takes place in Canada, and not Washington, offers little in the way of relief and by the finale, you'll find yourself ready to act.

The cast of characters is familiar as well: threatened wildlife, disenfranchised First Nations, passionate environmentalists, and committed recreationalists all fighting together to defeat resort developers. This coalition of activists is becoming more commonplace, as previously divided subgroups are finding power in cooperation.

Jumbo Wild Film, Jumbo Mountain, Protesters

The film also marks the latest in Patagonia's run of environmentally inspired projects. The outdoor brand is wielding its significant industry power to shed light on issues adversely affecting some of the wild places we all love to ski, hike, fish, and bike in, and Jumbo Mountain is such a place. For the Bozemanite, who sees firsthand the destructive force of wholesale development, this film is a reminder that constant vigilance is necessary. Several wild places that we hold dear are under constant threat. There are ways to get involved, such as volunteering on a trail work day, attending a Gallatin Community Collaboration meeting, or writing to your state or federal representative. First, head to the Emerson on October 27 to check out Jumbo Wild. Tickets are $5 and a portion of the proceeds go to Wildsight, the conservation group on the ground in Canada fighting for Jumbo. 


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