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For most people horses are, well, just horses. A good horse is a good horse, and a bad horse is simply a bad horse. For cowboy Buck Brannaman, however, horses are more than just good or bad, black or white. From Sundance Selects comes an award winning film and amazing true story of the real life horse whisperer Buck Brannaman in this exciting and heart warming documentary, Buck. From his difficult and abusive childhood, to his transforming skill with redeeming and training broken horses and people, the documentary Buck shares the inspiring story of a real life cowboy turned real life hero.
The documentary Buck journeys with the real life Buck Brannaman as he travels throughout the country working with broken horses and teaching individuals how to train and care for horses in a more humane and gentle way. While he travels, Buck also shares his story of his early life with an abusive father, and his escape and journey to recovery. In the film Buck viewers will see the many ropin’, ridin’, and cowboy tricks the talented Buck is a master of, but even more touchingly they will see his skill with horses. Known as “the horse whisperer,” Buck Brannaman has a reputation for helping calm and retrain even the most violent and broken of horses. He does not do so with a heavy hand and harsh words like many, instead he gently helps the horse to heal and start again. Mr. Brannaman as viewers will often hear in the stirring film Buck, does not help “people with horse problems,” instead he helps “horses with people problems.” Along the way he helps individuals overcome their own hurts, sorrows, and problems, showing them a way out and a way to becoming a better person. Buck’s wonderful talents, and down to earth compassion and humanity that first inspired Robert Redford’s 1998 film “The Horse Whisperer,” are just as powerful and his story just as entertaining in this non-fiction story of a real life cowboy “horse whisperer.”
The Real Life Buck Brannaman
The film inspiring story and actions of Buck Brannaman do not begin with his wonderful way with horses, instead, they are rooted in his own struggles and difficult past. Buck Brannaman was raised in Idaho and Montana by his alcoholic and abusive father. The man used to often beat his two sons, Buck and his brother, often to the point that the two would not change in the school locker rooms for fear someone would see the wounds on their backs. Thankfully for the boys, their football coach eventually discovered their abuse, and Buck was placed in a kind foster home. It was in this foster home, that Buck was exposed to horses, something he could never see would culminate in a film like Buck. At first Buck trained and worked with his horses using the usual “break them” approach. After being thrown, kicked, bit, and stepped on, however, they young cowboy realized that if he wanted to have a good relationship with his horses he would need to learn why they did what they did. He soon learned that the horses were much like himself-- they had been forced and abused into action and their natural response, much like his own, was to trust no one and expect the worst. Buck also knew from his own life, however, that patience, leadership, compassion and firmness could help an abused person overcome their past, and so he adopted this approach with the horses that came his way. Soon, with an added dash of the good cowboy value of hard work and perseverance, Buck was seeing horses respond-- he was seeing people respond to. Soon--as the documentary Buck brings to life-- Brannaman was traveling the country helping not only horses but people see the world through a new perspective. Horse whisperer, horse therapist, or merely a kind hearted, heard working, empathetic cowboy it does not matter, Buck Brannaman’s story--told in the film Buck-- is one of redemption and hope.
New Perspectives And Valuable Lessons
Buck is hardly just a film full of horses, or the story of a “magical” cowboy. It is a film full of touching reminders, powerful paradigm shifts, and valuable lessons. Perhaps the most powerful theme of the award winning film Buck is empathy. Empathy is more than just compassion, more than just an “I’m sorry” card, or a pat on the back. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, the deep down feeling that comes from the heart and personal experiences. Empathy, if individuals are willing to show it and put action behind it, has power to transform lives--whether human or horse. Redemption, is another strong lesson found in the documentary Buck. Buck Brannaman’s life of abuse and suffering was redeemed into that of joy and helpful service. In the same way, Buck helps redeem the lives of broken people and broken horses by using his story and his God given gifts. Patience and perseverance are also strong lessons found in this film, as Buck patiently perseveres to heal stubborn and broken lives. The documentary Buck forces viewers to confront their own stories and see how the experiences in their lives have shaped them for good or bad. It challenges viewers to consider how those experiences can be redeemed, transformed into powerful empathy, and used to change and heal the lives around them for the better. The documentary Buck shows that we do not all have to be horse whisperers, we simply have to use the situations God has led us through to glorify him and serve those around us.
Buck was rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for thematic elements, mild language, and an injury. Some topics and issues may not be suitable for younger viewers, but the film Buck is considered appropriate for most audiences. As always, however, it is recommend that parents preview all content to determine what is suitable for their children.
The documentary Buck journeys with the real life Buck Brannaman as he travels throughout the country working with broken horses and teaching individuals how to train and care for horses in a more humane and gentle way.