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The Rider The Rider

Chloé Zhao / USA / 2017 / 104 min / English

A longing look at the transforming American West, The Rider deploys a cast of real-life cowboys to present a refreshing new perspective on the western genre.

Young cowboy Brady Blackburn, once a rising star of the rodeo circuit is warned that his riding days are over after a head injury. Back home on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, Brady struggles with the physical and emotional complications of the accident. He starts to drift away from his rodeo friends and spend more time with Lane who is in intensive rehab after his bull riding career ended in a tragic accident. As time goes on, Brady can’t stay away from his horses and decides to start riding again. He has to choose between healing with the help of his family and friends, or risking it all to keep the only sense of self he’s ever known.

"I was drawn to a way of life in the heartlands of America that seems to be rapidly disappearing, and I feel very compassionate towards people who refuse to move on and who try to hold on to their way of life and their identity. I hope people will see why it’s so difficult for these young men to let go of their cowboy identity and understand the risks and sacrifices they make for the sense of freedom they feel when they ride." (Chloé Zhao)

Chloé Zhao
Born in 1982 in Beijing. She studied political science at Mount Holyoke College and film production at NYU. She currently resides in the United States. Her 2015 feature debut, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her award-winning second feature, The Rider, premiered at Cannes.

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