Like her debut, Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015), Zhao set this film in rural South Dakota (USA). Promising bronco rider Brady recovers from a serious head injury. To again shine in the arena seems out of the question, but he doesn’t want to admit this to himself, his gambling addict father or his macho friends just yet.

Realistically shot, the story gradually becomes more poetic, developing into an intimate portrait of a restless, insecure bronco buster forced to reinvent and accept himself. Interactions with his severely paralyzed friend Lane, his headstrong sister and the horses reveal his sensitive sides, in contrast to his faded glory in the macho world of cowboys.

Amateur actors play versions of themselves. The person who plays Brady had the same injury and the bronco busting is real. This idiosyncratic Western won the Art Cinema Award in Cannes.

Filmmaker
Chloé Zhao
Country
USA
Year
2017
Medium
DCP
Length
103’
Language
English
Producer
Sacha Ben Harroche, Bert Hamelinck, Chloé Zhao, Mollye Asher
Production Company
Caviar, Highwayman Films
Sales
Protagonist Pictures
Writer
Chloé Zhao
Cinematography
Joshua James Richards
Editor
Alex O’Flinn
Sound Design
Paul Knox
Music
Nathan Halpern
Cast
Brady Jandreau, Lane Scott, Cat Clifford, Lilly Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Terri Dawn Pourier