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.