Friday, June 17, 2011

Horses and humans

It never ceases to amaze me that we still fail to recognize and treat trauma in the "mentally ill" human.


The story of Buck Brannaman and, by extension, the documentary is on the surface that of a man who turned hurt into grace operating from a reservoir of patience and profound love of horses. It’s also, as his quiet stories and those of friends who also pay witness to his cruel history make vividly, at times mistily clear, a look at the lines connecting parent to child, man to beast. Mr. Brannaman’s childhood was a horror, and while the movie includes chilling reminiscences, the most revealing moment comes in an old film clip that Ms. Meehl smartly tucks in and that shows the older Mr. Brannaman leading his small, blindfolded boys toward the front of a stage, his grip digging so hard into Buck’s shoulder that you may wince.

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