Heather performing live in Vancouver at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival
Friday May 4 | 7:00 PM | St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church
Leanne Allison, Jeremy Mendes, and the NFB Digital Studios’ remarkable new interactive documentary does so much more than trace the life of a grizzly bear in Banff National Park. Captured, collared, and christened Bear 71 at age three, this mother grizzly was under surveillance for the rest of her life. Motion-triggered trail cameras captured her daily activities in grainy low-fi footage, like the kind used to spy on humans at 7-Eleven. Along with the other residents of the park—golden eagles, bighorn sheep, wolves, and deer, Bear 71’s every move was analyzed. But who watches the watchers? The answer may surprise you as the film also examines the systems of surveillance that have, in turn, trapped us all in a larger web of control. A singular cinematic experience and an emotionally profound work, Bear 71 shows that the illusion of freedom is just that.
Produced by the National Film Board of Canada (Vancouver and Edmonton) and featuring narration from actress Mia Kirshner and a script from J.B. MacKinnon (The 100 Mile Diet), Bear 71 is an interactive and immersive experience that blurs the boundaries between surveillance and subjectivity. Bear 71 questions the very idea of documentary presentation and offers up a poetic investigation of the densely tangled and interconnected systems of wired and wild life. Featuring live musical performances by Tim Hecker, Loscil, and cellist Heather McIntosh, DOXA is exceptionally proud to partner with the NFB to bring Bear 71 home to Vancouver within the stunning setting of Saint Andrew’s-Wesley Church. –DW
It’s such a different approach to filmmaking and art, that it may take a while for the average Joe or Jane to take it all in, but that’s kind of the point: We’re only half-awake to our animal nature, and all our ambient technology only serves to shove us deeper and deeper into a state of instinct denial. –The Vancouver Sun