MISSOULA – The Montana Museum of Art & Culture will present the film “Never the Same” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, in the Masquer Theatre of the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center at the University of Montana. The documentary chronicles the experiences of American prisoners of war held by the Japanese during World War II.
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Human Condition: The Art of Ben Steele,” the film will be followed by a Q-and-A session with director Jan Thompson and the film’s narrator, award-winning actress Loretta Swit, famous for her portrayal of Margaret “Hotlips” Houlihan on “M*A*S*H*,” one of the most popular TV series in history.
A meet-and-greet party with Thompson and Swit will take place before the screening from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Missoula Children’s Theatre. Tickets to the party cost $25 each and may be reserved by calling 406-243-2019. Proceeds will benefit the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Memorial Society and MMAC.“It is an honor to have the opportunity to screen my film during Ben Steele’s important exhibition,” Thompson said. “I hope the audience will more fully understand what Ben experienced while he was a POW after seeing my film in which he plays a significant role.”
“Loretta Swit is an icon among television stars,” MMAC Director Barbara Koostra said. “We’re thrilled she’s coming to Missoula to share her love and respect for veterans, especially Ben Steele, whose POW collection is among the remarkable works in the MMAC Permanent Collection.”
The Paxson and Meloy galleries will be open 30 minutes before and after the film screening for patrons to view the current exhibitions.
“We hope the combination of the exhibition, film and veteran advocacy will inspire and enlighten our audience,” Koostra said.
MMAC recently was named an Editor’s Choice pick on TripAdvisor’s Travel Pod blog for cultural organizations to visit this summer in Montana. “Human Condition: The Art of Ben Steele” is comprised of works from the museum’s Permanent Collection and presented as a part of the museum’s ongoing commitment to display the veteran’s artwork. With a collection of nearly 11,000 pieces of art, 2015 marks the organization’s 120th anniversary.