Andrew on The Visual Poetry of Jumbo Wild

April 26, 2016

It’s not often that I leave a movie unsure of how to feel. In fact, the first thing I normally do after leaving the theater is to tell everyone exactly how I feel about it. But occasionally the credits role and I am in awe. I stammer over words and struggle to form sentences. This was the state I was in as I left the Gem Theater on Thursday night after seeing the film Jumbo Wild as part of Gould’s recognition of Earth Day.


The film chronicles the ongoing efforts to build a massive ski resort in the remote mountains of British Columbia, and the vicious public dissent matching it. Jumbo Wild shines because of its beautiful story telling. Documentaries fail for several reasons. For one, they lack the clear structural elements that keep viewers interested for the entirety of the film. Like any other movie, documentaries need a beginning, middle, and end. They must have proper pacing, and be visually engaging. The characters must have depth and be interesting. Jumbo Wild brings emotion to an issue diluted by twenty years of legal battles far too tired out for any normal person to follow. It is a story as symbolically rich as it informational, a microcosm of western expansionist values as old as manifest destiny, and probably older. Director Nick Waggoner poetically weaves his narration over soaring helicopter shots of the towering Purcell Mountains, his words somber and melancholic, audibly distressed about what the word wilderness will mean in the future.


And so I walked slowly back to school in dark on a cool April night, profoundly sad and profoundly inspired.

Until Next Week,


P.S. If you’re in town for parents and family weekend, go to the Gem Theater. It’s a five-minute walk from campus, and you won’t regret it!


One Response

  1. Christopher Hayward Christopher Hayward says:

    Thanks for writing this Andrew!

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