Artists' Television Access

Grizzly Road: Directed by Sabrina Alonso

Saturday, August 16, 2008, 8:00 pm

Director in Person

It is estimated that 10,000 grizzly bears once roamed the Golden State. But in just 30 short years, the California Grizzly was on the brink of extinction, and in 1908, the last wild grizzly was recorded to have been shot. The call of Manifest Destiny for westward expansion sealed the great Grizzly Bear’s Fate…and with it, an eternal mythologizing of its past.

Historical figures like Grizzly Adams and William Randolph Hearst directly shaped our views of the grizzly bear, and so did the “inevitable” expansion of the United States. Monarch, a grizzly bear captured by Hearst sat in in captivity for 22 years. Shortly after Monarch’s demise as the last known living grizzly in California, Ishi, the last member of the Yahi tribe, was discovered in Oroville. The destiny of both intersected in Golden Gate Park, where their own extinction was witnessed and recorded…foreshadowing modern man’s future collision course with his manufactured landscape.

“Grizzly Road” is a feature documentary exploring the California Grizzly’s unfortunate fate with Manifest Destiny. By exploring the historical treatment of the bear, our own subsequent landscape of the future is revealed.

Directed by Sabrina Alonso, “Grizzly Road” is a visual essay using the landscape of California with archival photographs, and paintings and film footage from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The music is originally scored by Lauren Wooley as well as additional music from Corner Tour and the Darklings.