Miss Montana plane documentary heads to streaming

Cory Walsh

“Return to the Big Skies: Miss Montana to Normandy” has landed on streaming.

The documentary chronicles the restoration of a Mann Gulch smokejumper plane with a deadline to fly it to Europe for the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France, in the summer of 2019.

The movie is available for rental or purchase through Amazon Prime. (Those outside the U.S. or U.K. can see it via Vimeo on demand.)

“Those volunteers and folks that flew that airplane to Europe and back really made the state proud,” said director Eric Ristau. “And the fact that we were able to document that and hopefully share it with a wide audience is exactly what I hoped would happen.”

The only prior screenings were at the EAA OshKosh AirVenture show last summer; a viewing at Big Sky Brewing Company Amphitheater in September 2021 for volunteers and those involved. It screened at the Wilma in February at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

Ristau and his wife and co-producer Geneva Ristau run a film production company; they teamed up with producer Jenny Rohrer for the project. Ristau directed a feature film about a motorcycle road trip, “The Best Bar in America,” with his brother,

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