Reel Women in Film: The Rider
Texas Spirit Theater | R | 104 min. | Drama, Western
November 16, 2018 7:00pm - 9:30pm
Due to unforeseen circumstances, this screening is cancelled.
After a tragic riding accident, young cowboy Brady (Brady Jandreau), once a rising star of the rodeo circuit, is warned that his competition days are over. Back home, Brady finds himself wondering what he has to live for when he can no longer do what gives him a sense of purpose: to ride and compete. In an attempt to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and tries to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.
The Rider has won numerous awards and has been nominated for awards by SXSW Film Festival and the Film Independent Spirit Awards.
In 2015, while visiting a ranch on Pine Ridge Reservation, Chloé met a twenty-year old Lakota cowboy named Brady Jandreau. Brady is a member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and currently resides on Pine Ridge. He is a saddle bronc rider and a horse trainer. He hunts on horseback, fishes in the white river, spends most of his days working with wild horses, breaking and training them until they're fit for selling. Like a fish to water, Brady seems to understand every movement of the horse, as if they are locked in some kind of telepathic dance routine. One giving way to the other, until slowly and gently, a trust is formed. He's been doing it since he was eight years old, and it's miraculous to observe. Chloé was immediately drawn to him and she started to gather ideas for a film about Brady.
On April 1st, 2016, Brady entered the PRCE rodeo in Fargo, North Dakota. He was to compete in the 'Saddle Bronc' section and felt confident after a string of successful rides during the season. But that night Brady was thrown off. The bucking horse stomped on his head and near fatally crashed his skull. Brady’s brain bled internally. He had a seizure and fell into a three day coma.
“Working with Brady and Lane in a scene was one of the most humbling and inspiring moments of my life.” Chloé reflects, “We started production on September 3rd, 2016. The five-week filming mainly took place on the reservation and in the surrounding Badlands. Brady, who works as a professional horse trainer, trained horses for the first half of each day in order to have them ready for a horse sale. So we were able to capture a lot of authentic footage of Brady training and interacting with horses, while fully taking advantage of the magical South Dakota sunset. We worked with a small crew, filming in people’s homes, real locations and events. This is my second collaboration with cinematographer Joshua James Richards. We strived to capture moments in an organic yet cinematic way in order to further integrate a complete sense of reality into the narrative. Through Brady’s journey, both on and off screen, I hope to explore our culture of masculinity and to offer a more nuanced version of the classic American cowboy. I also want to offer an authentic portrait of the rough, honest and beautiful American heartland that I deeply love and respect.”
Chloé Zhao is a Chinese writer, director and producer. Her 2015 feature debut Songs My Brothers Taught Me premiered in US Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival and Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. It was nominated for three 2016 Independent Spirit Awards. Chloé studied Political Science at Mount Holyoke College and Film Production at NYU. She was born in Beijing and currently resides in the United States.
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