78 minutes, 2010, HDCAM

“Enlightening. FACING THE STORM is highly recommended for anyone with children (middle-school age and up) who are willing to learn how the West was really won and dang near ruined.”  Tallahassee Democrat   (read full review)

“The driving thesis of the film: Why is it the most iconic of North American animals has no status as true wildlife?” Missoulian  (read full review)

“Bison stick out of our light-speed 21st-century technopolis like sore reminders of times long past. For this reason we haven’t been able to stop killing them. Or worse, privileging the unsustainable factory-farming of cattle, while hypocritically crying about the tragic loss of the West in the process. This week, Independent Lens airs FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON as a timely remainder of this historically problematic relationship.  It’s an intricate analysis, brought to life by archival imagery, animation, and wildlife photography that will compel its viewers to get out of their cubicles into open spaces where existence takes on more dimensional meaning.”  alter.net

“A smart, elegant production…sure bison are photogenic, iconic and mostly gone, but the film gets beyond the familiar story we think we know.” Newwest.net  (read full review)

“Featuring archival film and photographs, breathtaking original footage, evocative animated sequences, and a slate of interviews with a diverse array of characters—from scientists to ranchers, animal rights activists to state governors—FACING THE STORM paints a portrait of the issue that’s as broad and subtly shaded as the Great Plains themselves.” Missoulian  (read full review)

“Beautifully documented… both historical documentary and wildlife film, FACING THE STORM may be the most comprehensively-concise examination of how and why we managed to nearly eradicate 30 million animals from the Great Plains in less than 50 years, and what’s being done today to ensure their survival.” Missoula Independent  (read full review)

“FACING THE STORM, a new documentary about bison being screened tonight at the Emerson Center for Arts and Culture, is nothing if not ambitious. The film sets out to document “the complete history of human relations with the largest land mammal on the continent.”  Bozeman Daily Chronicle  (read full review)

“An incisive history of the animal’s relationship to man and efforts to restore bison herds to the Great Plains.” Kansas City Star

“An unflinching overview of the long and complex history of interaction between humans and bison. FACING THE STORM prompts important questions: Was it fear, greed, stupidity or all of the above that drove the primarily white European hunters to exterminate the vast oceans of American bison? How much of the same elements prevent us from allowing free-roaming herds of bison to thrive today throughout the vast Great Plains? The film is an honest, unflattering portrait of a nations continuing unabated, unchecked hunger for more, even when faced with less. Order a copy of the film today, but only if youre prepared to rethink what you assumed you knew about American bison, and in a larger sense, about America, where we’ve been as a people and where we’re headed. The answers may shock you.” Big Sky Journal

“Besides being an enduring symbol of the Great Plains, the buffalo is also an emblem of survival. For nearly 10,000 years these animals were the driving force behind Native American culture and economy; then, in the nineteenth century, their numbers plummeted from the tens of millions to fewer than 1,000. Though they’ve been saved from extinction, recent history hasn’t been so romantic for the buffalo, as their storied past has given way to an uncertain future tied up in the realities of land management, bureaucracy, court trials and town-hall meetings. Today, even as buffalo unite Indian tribes under a common cause, they divide hunters and conservationists, lawmakers and constituents, as America continues to argue what, exactly, home on the range means for the buffalo. FACING THE STORM analyzes these ongoing challenges in a beautifully shot film that combines interviews with Native Americans, conservationists and ranchers with sweeping panoramas of the plains, simple yet effective animation and not-for-the-squeamish scenes from slaughterhouses. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, the film’s look at North America’s history and future serves as a poignant reminder that civilizations are at their best when the land and its people live in mindful accord.” Riverfront Times

“You might think a 78 minute film would be more than you’ll ever need to know about the buffalo. If that’s the case, FACING THE STORM will surprise you. The film is part nature documentary, part history lesson and part an affectionate appreciation of the American bison. It’s hard to say which is more impressive: the newly filmed footage of buffalo, offering insight into their behavior and giving a fair example of their majesty, or the well-selected archive footage that pulls the film just short of connecting to the old west, when the creatures were nearly wiped out. This is an unexpectedly passionate film about animals and nature and their precarious state in the modern world.” St. Louis Beacon

“Maps the tragic history of the American buffalo, the majestic species that was hunted to near extinction by western settlers and is slowly making a comeback.” St. Louis Post Dispatch

“Directed by national Emmy-nominee Doug Hawes-Davis, the film explores efforts to protect and restore bison herds and details the complex relationship between the Plains Indians and the animal. It also recounts the near destruction of the species from an estimated 30 million in the mid-19th century to fewer than 300 by the late 19th century.” Great Falls Tribune

“**** 1/2. Doug Hawes-Davis’ documentary traces the long and tumultuous history of the American bison over a 10,000-year stretch. Admittedly, the last 200-year period was the most perilous for the species, when it was the target of reckless over-hunting by the white settlers who took over the continent. It was only through an unprecedented push for conservation that the American bison survived, though it remains at the center of a seemingly endless tug-of-war between environmentalists, developers, native tribes and sports hunters. The film is rich with beautiful cinematography that captures the species in the wild, and it also offers an impressive collection of rare photographs and film footage that shows the near-fatal decline of the bison and its escape from extinction. Hawes-Davis’ film serves as a wonderful introduction to anyone who is unfamiliar with this aspect of the American ecosystem and with the harsh history of late 19th and early 20th century United States.”  Film Threat

“During the four years that he spent working on a documentary about Yellowstone National Park’s bison herd, Doug Hawes-Davis said he was continually pressed about whether he was for cows or for bison.” Billings Gazette   (read full review)