: Buck Brannaman, Robert Redford Director
: Cindy Meehl Genre
: PGRunning Time
: 88 minutesSynopsis
: Buck, a richly textured and visually stunning film, follows Brannaman from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses. A real-life "horse-whisperer", he eschews the violence of his upbringing and teaches people to communicate with their horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment. Buck possesses near magical abilities as he dramatically transforms horses - and people - with his understanding, compassion and respect. In this film, the animal-human relationship becomes a metaphor for facing the daily challenges of life. A truly inspiring story about an unsung hero, Buck is about an ordinary man who has made an extraordinary life despite tremendous odds.Release Date
: February 16, 2012Director's Statement
I met Buck at one of his clinics eight years ago. In four days, he taught me more about horses than anyone ever had in all the decades I'd been dealing with them. Even more compelling was watching how he could instill the feeling of power in someone when they were afraid and had given up hope, whether it was about their horse or their life. Buck's personal story, as I came to know it, also deeply resonated with me. How he rose above the violence of his childhood, and applied the hard-learned lessons to training horses humanely and respectfully was profoundly inspirational. Buck has a unique ability to help people reconfigure the way they perceive both horses and humans, and the principles he teaches can become life altering. How he treats and works with these animals reverberates beyond the round pen and the arena. Overcoming a horse's fear and earning its trust has a lot in common with raising a child or sustaining a relationship.
I was inspired to make a film because I felt it was the best way to introduce this charismatic cowboy to the general public and not just "horse people." It was a huge leap of faith, as I had never made a film before. However, I have always loved John Burroughs's saying, "Leap, and the net will appear." It did. It has been a joy and tremendous life lesson to have connected with Buck Brannaman's unique world; it runs at a different pace and embodies the most fundamental of human values. With my film Buck, I hope I can share a fraction of what this experience has given to me.
- Cindy MeehlBuck Brannaman
is a prominent advocate of natural horsemanship. He's a widely respected horse gentler whose approach to training a horse has inspired and revolutionized the equestrian world. He travels extensively throughout the US and the world.
A mix of mentor, legend and folk hero to the thousands who attend his colt-starting and horsemanship clinics each year, Buck is the inspiration for the novel and feature-film, The Horse Whisperer. Employing techniques learned from Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt, Buck gets riders to understand as much about their horses as possible. He teaches people to understand the horse and where he's coming from and is able, almost instinctually, to inspire trust in both the horse and rider. Buck has co-authored two books, Faraway Horses and Believe.Cindy Meehl
met Buck Brannaman at one of his horse clinics in 2003.
His horsemanship and skills were exceptional, and once Cindy learned about Buck's life, she was inspired to make her first documentary to tell his story and share his unique approach to horses and people. She founded Cedar Creek Productions, LLC in 2008 in order to make this film.
Cindy's background is in fashion and art. She created and ran her own label, "Sasha, Cindy and Phil", as well as "Cindy Hughes Designs". She has designed couture eveningwear that sold across the country. Her clothes have been showcased in the windows of Bergdorf Goodman and featured in film and television as well as magazines and print campaigns. Cindy studied art at Marymount Manhattan College and the National Academy of Art in NYC. In the 1990s, she began fine art painting, which led to her interest in photography and film. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, writer Brian Meehl, 2 daughters, 4 dogs and 2 horses.