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The Rider

October 10, 2023 @ 7:00 pm

Showing in the CCA Cinema

Northern New Mexico Horsemen’s Association presents


Panel discussion + benefit screening for the Center for Contemporary Arts

The Rider is a film about rodeo riders on a South Dakota reservation and the trials of trauma.

The film is so heavily fact-based that it almost qualifies as a documentary, but it’s also recognized for how the style of the production uses light and landscape to create beautiful cinematic poetry.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion on the experiences portrayed in the film and how they relate to our own lives with horses. Panelists will include Claire Antoszewski, Physician Assistant and horsewoman; Ginger Gaffney and Leela Brightenburg, Legacy Training; and Erin Calhoun, Pas de Cheval Horse Rescue.

From a review by Godfrey Chesire, RogerEbert.com:

“The best American movie I’ve has seen in the past year, Chloe Zhao’s The Rider, is the kind of rare work that seems to attain greatness through an almost alchemical fusion of nominal opposites. An account of rodeo riders on a South Dakota reservation, it is so fact-based that it almost qualifies as a documentary. Yet the film’s style, its sense of light and landscape and mood, simultaneously give it the mesmerizing force of the most confident cinematic poetry.

Add to that the fact that this enrapturing vision of an indigenous American and hyper-masculine culture comes from a young female filmmaker who hails from Beijing and the achievements of The Rider are fairly staggering. Chloé Zhao has lived in the U.S. for some time, and her debut feature, Songs My Brother Taught Me, was shot and set on the same reservation and also used locals instead of actors as its cast. The Rider is a quantum leap beyond its predecessor.

One of Zhao’s key assets in making the film was her discovery of Brady Jandreau, who plays the film’s main character, Brady Blackburn, who looks to be around 20. I went into my first viewing of The Rider knowing nothing about it, and there was one scene about a third of the way in that proved both electrifying and crucially clarifying. Brady is in a corral with a rancher and a wild horse that the man says has never been ridden. Brady offers to train him and proceeds to do just that—and watching him is breathtaking.”

Writer/Director: Chloe Zhao
Features: Brady Jandreau, Mooney, Tim Jandreau
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hr. 44 min.

$20 general admission, or $18 for NNMHA or CCA members