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Ken Burns promotes new documentary: 'The American Buffalo'

Ken Burns promotes new documentary: 'The American Buffalo'
Posted at 9:47 AM, Jun 10, 2023

A creature synonymous with the West is being highlighted by one of the top names in documentary filmmaking.

Ken Burns and other prominent figures from the film are doing a little pre-promotion in Montana this week.

Included was a Friday stop in Lewistown.

Burns' latest project is called ‘The American Buffalo.’

In addition to spending Friday afternoon and evening at the American Prairies Reserve's National Discovery Center in Lewistown, Burns and other key players in the production were in Missoula and also visited the National Bison Range in Moiese.

While in in Lewistown, visitors were able to get brief sneak peaks of the film every 15 minutes inside the center's Ken Burns American Heritage Theater.

The two-part, four-hour film has been in production for four years.

It’s a story spanning more than 10-thousand years taking viewers across some of North America’s most iconic landscapes, including Montana.

It chronicles the story of how bison, commonly referred to as buffalo, became highly revered among native nations to its near extinction to the remarkable efforts to save the species from extermination.

Burns, whose other credits include films about the Civil War, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and America's National Parks, says the latest project draws on experience from those and other films and projects he's been associated with.

“Being drawn to the American West again and again and again, we ran across the story of the buffalo, and it was our opportunity to sort of unite all the various disparate parts of the body that we told in various films in one film, and that would be able to merge it with the way in which its story is is so intertwined with the story of native peoples in the United States,” said Burns.

Ken Burns

Ken Burns isn’t the only one associated with the project to visit Big Sky Country.

Longtime collaborator and director Julie Dunfey and the man who wrote the series, Dayton Duncan took part in a question and answer session alongside Burns in Lewistown.

Duncan is scheduled top give a presentation Saturday in Fort Benton.

The American Buffalo premieres on PBS on October 16th and 17th.

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