Video

THE RIDER
Directed by Chloe Zhao
Distributed by Sony Pictures

How do we define ourselves? Is it our personality, where we come from, who we know? Is it about what we do or what we dream of? Whatever it is, these things are fundamental to who we feel we are. So what happens if they change?
The Rider is a haunting film. Based on real-life, the events and characters are portrayed by the actual individuals as opposed to actors performing as them.
Brady Jandreau lives in the Badlands of South Dakota. His life revolves around horses and competing on the rodeo circuit. This all comes to a violent halt following a shocking accident when a bucking horse crushes his skull.
Left with hindered motor functions, he is prone to seizures. Living with his father, Tim, and beloved autistic sister, Lilly, Brady has few friends. The best of them is in permanent care at a medical facility following an even more brutal rodeo accident.
The introverted and soulful young man must now completely rethink his life. The heartland of America is beautiful, but it is also desolate and isolated.
There is nowhere for Brady to hide from his thoughts, nowhere to escape from the sense of inadequacy that plagues him. He is lost and aimless.
As he gives away his horse and his riding equipment, it is as if he is shedding his skin, casting off the protective shell that was his identity, leaving nothing but his exposed sense of being without purpose.
Despite the risk and fully aware of how impossible it must be, he is drawn back to horses, to the rodeo ring and to the person he always believed he was.
It is early in the year but you will not see another film like The Rider in 2019. It’s stillness, poignancy and majesty are heartbreaking.
Beyond its narrative though is a sobering warning about the fragility and sensitivity that young boys and men are vulnerable to. They too need to be cared for.