‘Buck’ to Screen at Autry

By May 25, 2011

Buck Brannaman's unique training style is the subject of a new film about his life.

On June 13 the Autry Museum in Los Angeles will host a special preview screening of the documentary Buck, about the charismatic horseman Buck Brannaman, who inspired the novel and film of The Horse Whisperer.

Winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s 2011 Audience Award for Documentary, Buck will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s director Cindy Meehl and Brannaman himself. “I met Buck at one of his clinics about 8 years ago, and he made a profound impression on me,” said Meehl. “Coming from a different discipline entirely, I didn’t think there was much I could learn from a cowboy.  I was astounded to realize that no one had ever taught me as much about a horse as he did in those four days.”

Buck follows Brannaman from an abusive and painful childhood to his safe haven with a loving foster family. There he learned the life lessons that he would later apply to his teaching ― rejecting the use of fear, cruelty and intimidation for bonds of trust, tolerance and empathy. Brannaman often compares redirecting the minds and energy of troubled horses with the trials of raising children.

The film explores Brannaman’s loving relationship with his daughter, Reata, who inherited the riding and roping talents of her dad. Also examined are the challenges of spending time on the road, as Buck is leaves family and travels alone in his horse trailer from clinic to clinic across the country. Viewers get a bird’s eye view on how the trainer deals with fractious horses and, frequently, fractious humans.  As Buck says, “Often instead of helping people with horse problems, I’m helping horses with people problems.”

Buck is rated PG and is being distributed by Sundance Films, which will open it in theaters in Los Angeles and New York on June 17, followed by a national rollout on June 24. $20 ($15 for Autry members). For more information or to buy tickets to the Autry showing, visit wwwtheautry.org .

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