After an accident, once-promising rodeo rider Brady Blackburn (Brady Jandreau) suffers from a brain damage and is warned against riding… but it’s his whole life. Chloé Zhao followed her debut film Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015) with another story set among Lakota Sioux. This one could just as easily have been a documentary because there aren’t many ingredients here that are made-up – the main character’s injury is real, his family are played by the real-life Jandreaus and they all live in South Dakota. The film faces an uphill climb at first, but it sort of sneaks up on you and delivers an emotional gut-punch in the end.
2018-U.S. 105 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Mollye Asher, Sacha Ben Harroche, Bert Hamelinck, Chloé Zhao. Written and directed by Chloé Zhao. Cinematography: Joshua James Richards. Cast: Brady Jandreau (Brady Blackburn), Tim Jandreau (Wayne Blackburn), Lilly Jandreau (Lilly Blackburn), Cat Clifford, Terri Dawn Pourier, Lane Scott.
Last word: “After my first film, I went back to visit the Pine Ridge reservation a few times. When I saw Brady, who was working there, I just thought, wow he has a presence, I think the camera is really going to love his face. And then I saw him training horses and I knew I had to make a film with him. […] We tried to find different types of story for him but nothing really worked. Then he got injured [in April 2016] and that became the story.” (Zhao, The Guardian)