Cast includes: Buck Brannaman
Director: Cindy Meehl
Genre: Documentary (2011)
In brief: Buck travels the country, doing 4-day training clinics to help people learn to handle and train horses. As we soon learn, “Rather than helping people with horse problems, he’s usually helping horses with people problems.” He’s had his share of skeptics. But then they watch him with a problem horse… “In 5 minutes, Buck can have a horse following him around like a dog.” Buck tells us it’s about empathy and trust. But those words are too small to explain Buck's almost magical powers. The traditional concept of "breaking" horses is about abuse. Buck shows us a totally different way. We see that abuse is not only ineffective... it's often counterproductive.
These are lessons Buck knows from personal experience. At age 3, Buck was a trick roper, performing with his 6-year-old brother. They became so well known, that they even appeared on a TV commercial as Kellogg’s Sugar Pop Kids. But what TV viewers would never have guessed was that the brothers were severely beaten by their father on the way home because their performance wasn't "perfect." Their mother had recently died, and there was no one to protect them from the wrath of an abusive, alcoholic father... until the boys were put into a foster home by social services. That’s when Buck started learning about humanity. And those lessons have served him well. But it's been a long journey.
Buck's career in the movies actually started when he worked with Bob... Robert Redford... on The Horse Whisperer. Buck is actually more amazing. It helps us see that relating to horses is a lot like relating to humans… except that it’s a lot harder to fool a horse! If anyone doubts the power of trust... Buck will make you a believer. With beautiful footage that’ll make you want to move to horse country, along with wonderful original music, the filmmakers earn our trust right from the opening scenes. Be sure and stay for the end credits... otherwise you'll miss Buck's favorite joke.
4 popped kernels
A beautiful film with a beautiful message... about more than just horses
Primary Audience: Grown-ups
Gender Appeal: Any audience
Distribution: Mainstream limited release
Tempo: Cruises comfortably
Visual Style: Nicely varnished realism
Character Development: Engaging
Language: True to life
Social Significance: Thought provoking