LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015
Recently, I was approached with the idea of watching a hunting movie and writing a review. And while the idea intrigued me, to be honest I had preconceived ideas about the project. However, I do my best not to judge things, or people, without first giving them a chance to show their true colors. So, I put on my editorial, critic’s hat and set aside a short time in my busy schedule to try and lose myself in a fellow hunter’s adventure. I’m glad I did.
Donnie Vincent goes after more than just a huge whitetail in the new film “The River’s Divide”.
Donnie Vincent is the bowhunter featured in the full length documentary “The River’s Divide”. The camera captures his quest for a monstrous whitetail deer he has nicknamed Steve. The hunt takes place in the Badlands of North Dakota. From the opening moments I was drawn to Donnie’s personal quest for a true giant. However, my own fascination had little to do with the size of antlers that sat atop Steve’s head. In fact, it isn’t until several minutes into the adventure that Steve is even shown to the viewer. The pull, at least for me, is the breathtaking images and musical score that seem to go perfectly with what my eyes are being exposed to. The chase for this giant whitetail is only icing on the proverbial cake; and I am hungry for more.
The River’s Divide is a film that captures the raw emotion (in the field and on the hunters face) and depicts the struggles, the close encounters, the up’s and down’s, and the meticulous details that embody bowhunting; true bowhunting. The camera work and the musical score become one instead of separate entities. At the heart of this documentary is a storyline that is all but missing from much of today’s televised hunts. Sure, certain time constraints and sponsor responsibilities hinder a lot of hunts you see on television. But, even still, many lack the pure narrative, drama and “soulful” struggle that Donnie must endure during his 2 year journey for Steve. Perhaps that is what pulled me into the film in the first place. I savored the thought that to experience this adventure for myself I would need to set aside some time and simply be patient. Funny, but that reminds me of bowhunting.
If you love pure, raw bowhunting adventure, you will love this film.
Ultimately, The River’s Divide is a beautiful depiction of a blood sport. It is a terrific representation of one bowhunters respect for the game he pursues and the sacrifices he is willing to make in order to reach his goal. It reveals to the viewer the highs and lows and the frustration that comes with bowhunting; especially bowhunting mature whitetails. More importantly, it accurately portrays the majestic nature of mature whitetails and the respect that they deserve; that all animals deserve.
Over the last six months, the film has been touring the country as part of the Full Draw Film Tour, playing in sold out theaters in Montana, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Utah, and has now finally made its way to the Midwest with showings in Minnesota & South Dakota. With more theater and tour dates soon to be added, The River’s Divide is only one in a series of adventure films featuring Donnie that will be airing nationally on television starting this October. You can subscribe to Donnie’s website (http://donnievincent.com) and follow him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/followdonnievincent) for more information about the upcoming film series and what’s going on.
The river that Donnie must cross each time he goes afield changes constantly. Sometimes it is high, sometimes low, sometimes calm, sometimes frozen solid. However, like all rivers it seems to ebb and flow; much like his journey for Steve…..much like life. Do yourself a favor, set aside some time, be patient, and watch this film….it is worth every moment.
View the full-length trailer here: http://vimeo.com/64107884
View updated screening dates here: http://donnievincent.com/the-rivers-divide/