We live in an age of information domination. Much of it perhaps is not needed or necessary. It may be an old-fashioned notion, but I would prefer to call personal discovery the most defining mark of a project. For that reason, I shrink from the idea of explaining too much with the hope that the film will speak best for itself.
Apart from that, here are a few issues that provoke me and have abided my interest most of my life: the real West versus the mythological West of film and fashion fiction. The real West today is mostly real estate entrepreneurship and a declining lifestyle related to ranching and family life. The old West was always inhabited by a large population of homesteaders and outlaws and held hostage by a few hundred barons.
I like what’s left of nature and its seasons–the sweet smell of October as leaves of summer die and the air is still. The quiet fall of snow and its quilting of the frost-hardened landscape. The raw, bone-breaking winds that gather speed across what is left of the open plains. The distant and lonely sound of the midnight truck on the highway. The flush of new color in spring and sounds of water and stock as it all comes to life. I love the stories told by those that live and work there, will die there and know it. The hard-lived, often brutally treated anecdotes around the corral fence or campfire that mitigates against the reality of fate in such a wide open and unpredictable space. The rituals of hat, leather and rope that define the aristocracy that remains. And the remains themselves–those few ranches that are not prefaced with the phrase “view sites” or “estates.” Those dusty, rutted dirt roads not yet paved. The waters that still flow freely undisturbed by the “know better” hounds of industry. The air so pure, it seems out of place.
Aside from that, this story struck me as being just that–a good story with interesting characters in growth and conflict, about a new approach to the age-old connection between man and beast. One that involves trust and compassion. The circle seemed to complete itself with the idea that that approach need not be exclusive to animals alone.