The Rider

The Rider (Chloé Zhao Ting, 2017)

blurb: After suffering a near fatal head injury, a young cowboy undertakes a search for new identity and what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.

This is a type of film for which there may be no simple name. It is a fictionalised documentary—as are all three of the features directed by Zhao Ting. All of the people shown in this film, as in the others, are real people, most going under their real names. There is a story, but it is only there because there has to be one, as E.M. Forster pointed out, sadly.

This is the story. Man falls off horse, gets hurt. Will man get on horse again? ... That's it.

Wikipedia: The Rider is a 2017 American contemporary western drama film written, produced and directed by Chloé Zhao. The film stars Brady Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lane Scott, and Cat Clifford and was shot in the Badlands of South Dakota. It premiered in the Directors' Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2017, where it won the Art Cinema Award. It was released in theaters in the United States on April 13, 2018. It grossed $4.2 million dollars, making it a small commercial success. The film was critically praised for its story, performances, and its depiction of the people and events that influenced the film.
All of the characters are Lakota Sioux of the Pine Ridge Reservation. Brady lives in poverty with his father Wayne and his teenage sister, Lilly, who has autism. Once a rising rodeo star, Brady suffered brain damage from a rodeo accident, weakening his right hand and leaving him prone to seizures. Doctors have told him that riding will make them worse.

References and Links

Forster, E. M. 1927, Aspects of the Novel, Edward Arnold, London, p. 41: "Yes—oh, dear, yes—the novel [/film] tells a story. That is the fundamental aspect without which it could not exist. That is the highest factor common to all novels, and I wish that it was not so, that it could be something different—melody, or perception of the truth, not this low atavistic form."

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Garry Gillard | New: 29 December, 2020 | Now: 17 January, 2021