Mark your calendars for Bozeman Film Society screenings of two celebrated independent films in The Ellen Theatre in March.
Showing Wednesday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. is this year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film “Son of Saul.” In this searing drama, a concentration camp inmate tasked with burning the dead discovers the body of his young son and must choose between participating in the clandestine uprising being planned among the prisoners, or securing a proper Jewish burial for his child.

“Philadelphia Inquirer” film critic Steven Rea calls “Son of Saul,” “A crushing view of humanity at its most desperate, and a view of one man’s fevered efforts to find grace and dignity amid the horror.” The film will open with a short introduction by rabbi Ed Stafman of the Beth Shalom congregation. The R-rated “Son of Saul” runs 107 minutes.

On Wednesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. BFS kicks off its Science on Screen film series with Yellowstone National Park drama “Druid Peak.” Funded by a grant from the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, BFS is one of only 23 independent nonprofits in the country awarded grants to implement a SoS program at their theater. Now in its ninth year, Science on Screen provides national funding to expand film and scientific literacy by creatively pairing screenings of popular culture and documentary films with lively expert presentations by local scientists.

Set against the backdrop of the wolf reintroduction program in Yellowstone National Park, “Druid Peak” is a redemptive coming of age story about a troubled teenaged boy (Spencer Treat Clark) whose mother ships him off to the wilds of Wyoming, where his estranged father (Andrew Wilson) works as a Yellowstone biologist. Shot on location in Wyoming, Montana, Utah and West Virginia, the film portrays the power of wilderness in the human experience. The Los Angeles Times calls the film, “Enlightening … and undeniably gorgeous.”

A short introduction before the screening called “Wolves and Teens: ‘Un-packing’ Social Creatures” will be presented by scientist Doug Smith, lead biologist of the Yellowstone Wolf Project, and Katey Franklin, director of Montana State University’s Human Development Clinic and Addictions Counseling Program.

Writer/director Marni Zelnick and executive producer Maureen Mayer will join Smith and Franklin for a Q-and-A afterward. The screening is a collaboration with the Montana Outdoor Science School and the Montana Environmental Education Association. Rated PG-13, the film runs 115 minutes.

Other films in the Science on Screen series are “Jurassic World” on April 30 with Dr. Jack Horner, and “The Martian” screened May 25 with Dr. Mac Burgess.

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