In the documentary film, Hanna Ranch, audiences are privileged to see what the modern American Cowboy and rancher face when confronted with amazing personal, family and national issues. Selected for the 36th Annual Denver International Film Festival, this movie tells an all too familiar story. It is a story about how best to deal with inevitable forces that sometimes are out of one individual’s control. It is a story that has been told countless times – that seems to fall on deaf ears. And most important it is a story that will resonate with the “lone ranger” found in each of us as well as any advocate for the land.
Unlike Erin Brockovich, the struggle at Hanna Ranch has been a typical battle found in Colorado – The Last Cattle Drive by Allen Birnbach comes to mind. Hanna Ranch, located just south of Colorado Springs, CO, had been a working ranch for three generations. Because of modern trappings, each family member had to come to grips with whether staying committed to tradition and a “rugged” way of life was more desirable than accepting “Big-O” Tires as a viable future – and potential neighbor. Kirk Hanna in fact finds his way from the ranch to a commodities position in Denver and back because of his commitment to family, friends and values. He also becomes an advocate for alternative ranching techniques designed to sustain and preserve the productive nature of his family’s ranch. His vision earned him the title of being an “Eco-Rancher” as well as being the head of the Colorado Cattlemens Association. His techniques paved the way for an extremely important and necessary philosophy in Colorado that the film highlights called “Peak to Prairie”. And most important the film deals with the sudden loss of something that can not be replaced – life itself.
Whether you are in the arts, politics, oil and gas or land conservation and development, this is a must see film. It allows, as any work of visual art should, a moment for the audience to relate to another person’s perspective – and be better for it.
You can see the world premier of “Hanna Ranch – The Movie” on Saturday, November 9, 3:00pm/Ellie Caulkins Opera House (1101 13th St., Denver, CO 80204)
Wednesday, November 13, 2:00pm/Sie FilmCenter (2510 East Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80206)