399: Queen of the Tetons – Apr. 18th

On Thursday, April 18th, at 7pm at the Emerson Center, the Bozeman Doc Series and the Sierra Club, in association with Gallatin Valley Earth Day will present the new documentary 399: Queen of the Tetons. 

The screening will be preceded at 5:45pm by a reception in the Emerson ballroom with food and drink, as well as Earth Day information and opportunities from event sponsors the Sierra Club, Gallatin Valley Earth Day, Moraway Adventures, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, Cottonwood Environmental Law Center, the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, Gallatin Forest Partnership and Broken Ground. The reception will also feature our annual Bozeman Doc Series silent auction with items from sponsors such as Red Tractor Pizza, Bozeman Spirits, Reintegrative Massage, and many more. 

For nearly two decades, Grizzly 399 has been a fixture in Grand Teton National Park. Known only by her research number, 399 has captivated photographers since 2007, becoming the world’s most famous — and photographed — grizzly in the world. The film follows 399 as she struggles to raise her cubs in the face of human encroachment, a rapidly changing climate, and threat of losing her protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The film explores 399’s life through those closest to her, including world-renowned nature photographer Thomas Mangelsen, activist Jane Goodall, grizzly biologist Dr. Chris Servheen, NPS park rangers, cattle ranchers, and even the man who survived an attack by 399 and her cubs. 399: Queen of the Tetons examines an urgent and contentious debate over the future of an iconic American species through the life of one exceptional mama bear. 399’s breathtaking home in the Tetons comes to life through beautifully observed wildlife footage, Thomas Mangelsen’s 15 year archive of 399 photographs, viral videos, and original verite filming.

Director Elizabeth Leiter, speaking about the film, said, “Something that kind of emerged for me pretty early on in research was that there are two 399s, in a sense. There’s her and her biological life and her living as a grizzly on the landscape. And I love it when the bear biologists say “making a living on the landscape.” That means all of her biological impulses to feed, to mate, to hunt, to teach her children, to rear them. That’s her real lived life. And then there’s the story and the ethos and mythos all around her that is a human projection and that says far more about us than about her. I liked trying to ride the line of that tension.”

399: Queen of the Tetons world-premiered at the recent Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, where it was selected as the festival’s opening night film.

Doors open at 5:45pm. Tickets are available at the door or before the show online at www.bozemandocseries.org, where you can also learn more about the series and view trailers for upcoming films. The series will continue through May 2nd, 2024.