Last night my family and I saw the premiere of the documentary Buck and had the pleasure to meet Buck Brannaman, the horseman that it is about. We were, unfortunately, a few minutes late; however, from where we jumped in (about 10 minutes into the film) we were hooked.
Buck is a horse whisperer of sorts. Abused by his father as a child, he turned his painful past into a life where he travels 40 weeks a year teaching clinics that help people GENTLY train their horses. Highly regarded in his field, he assisted Robert Redford with the making of the movie, The Horse Whisperer starring Scarlett Johansen….which is covered briefly in the documentary.
Buck was present to answer questions at the end of the film and while many in attendance were horse owners with questions about specific problems they have with their own horses, many more people commented on how the film moved them to tears and applauded Buck for the work that he does. Known as a humble and quiet-tempered man, Buck thanked each audience member for their comments…dodging any kind of indication that he is out of the ordinary. In fact, he doesn’t even consider himself a horseman but hopes when he meets his trainer, Ray, in heaven some day that he’ll be proud of him.
I loved Buck’s sense of humor that came through both in person and in the film. And his honesty. At one point in the film he works with a wild and dangerous horse that can’t be broken and while dealing with both the owner and the horse, he stayed calm but spoke from his heart. It was a moving scene for sure. Buck believes that many “horse” problems are really “people” problems. Truly, issues with children have much to do with the parents. Same holds true with horses, Buck believes.
In fact, questions from the audience that didn’t have to do with horse specific issues were mostly about those that suffered abuse in some way…or those that work with abused children. After Buck’s mother died he lived with foster parents that he loves dearly. He said of the film, if it makes someone aspire to be like Betsy Shirley (his foster mom) and give a kid no one cares about a home, then it was worth it.
I asked him how a cowboy from Wyoming handles sudden movie star status.
Standing in the theatre with brown cowboy boots, a yellow dress shirt with a western decorated tie, cowboy hat and jeans tight enough to see the outline of a round tin can in his front pocket he answered: “The film has a beginning, middle and end and one day when it’s in the bargain bin at Walmart, I’ll be back doing what I was doing and be just fine.”
I highly recommend you check Buck-The Documentary out when it hits theatre July 1st.
I was invited to a special screening in order to review this movie but received no other compensation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.