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Animated feature by Montana filmmaker commemorates World War I




On Wednesday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m., the Bozeman Film Society presents a special Memorial Day screening of the animated film “And We Were Young” at The Ellen Theatre.

Produced and directed by Missoula filmmaker Andy Smetanka, “And We Were Young” was adapted from “Doughboy War: The American Expeditionary Force in World War I,” a book by James H. Hallas. Smetanka’s rendition is an animated oral history of American soldiers (or “Doughboys”) in France during the last months of the war.

Narrated with the words of the men who survived, and brought to life with paper figures and a Super 8 mm camera, Smetanka’s first feature-length silhouette film incorporates blazing colors and fairytale charm to paint an unforgettable picture of the historical event hailed as the “war to end all wars.”

Smetanka, whose past collaborators include Guy Maddin, Isabella Rossellini, the Decemberists and Pearl Jam, has been producing silhouette animations on a Soviet-era Super 8 camera since 2004.

After raising more than $32,000 on Kickstarter, Smetanka cut thousands of paper figures and colored backgrounds and filmed them one frame at a time over the course of three years. The result is a brutal, hauntingly beautiful, and thoroughly original vision of World War I that has reaffirmed his reputation as one the most dedicated, talented filmmakers working today.

Smetanka joins the Bozeman Film Society for this special event commemorating the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement in World War I. Prior to the screening, from 6 to 7 p.m. Smetanka will provide a free animation demonstration at Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot, located across from The Ellen Theatre at 18 W. Main in Bozeman.

American Legion Post #14 will open the 7:30 p.m. film presentation at The Ellen with a color guard ceremony.

Visit for more information.

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