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BUCK, a richly textured and visually stunning film, follows Buck Brannaman from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses. A real-life horse-whisperer , he eschews the violence of his upbringing and teaches people to communicate with their horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment. Buck possesses near magical abilities as he dramatically transforms horses - and people - with his understanding, compassion and respect.
A truly American story about an unsung hero and one of the most successful documentaries of the year, BUCK is about an ordinary man who has made an extraordinary life despite tremendous odds.
The documentary Buck explores the potent emotions between humans and horses. Buck Brannaman, who's about as genuine a cowboy as you'll find in the modern world, travels the United States giving workshops on how to humanely train horses--one might even say, on how to collaborate with horses for mutual benefit. One of the inspirations for The Horse Whisperer, Brannaman survived a horribly abusive childhood in which he was trained by his tyrannical father to be a trick roper to discover in his adulthood an intuitive connection with horses. Brannaman is fascinating; this examination of his life of gentleness, good humor, and discipline reveals--through interviews with him, his wife and daughter, and various friends and students--the pain and volatility underneath. But beyond the man himself, interviews with people who have taken his workshops reveal the profound experiences that people have when relating to horses, experiences that resonate throughout their lives and psyches. Watching Buck is like watching an old Western cracked open; myths are taken apart, unveiling awkward and uncomfortable realities behind them… but through it all a hope emerges that's far more compelling than the myths ever were. --Bret Fetzer