Director: Chloé Zhao
Starring: Lilly Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Brady Jandreau
Duration: 104 min
Chloé Zhao made an impressive directorial debut with Songs My Brothers Taught Me (CINECITY 2015) set among Native American Indians living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Born in Beijing but raised in the UK and USA, Zhao’s second feature, The Rider, is once again set in South Dakota and focuses on the broken dreams of a young cowboy. Performed by non-actors and partly based on their real-life experiences, The Rider is a superbly constructed portrait of frustrated youth and American cowboy culture, beautifully shot by cinematographer Joshua James Richards (God’s Own Country).
Brady Jandreau plays a semi-autobiographical version of himself, coming to terms with a near fatal rodeo accident that leaves him unable to ride again on the advice of his doctors. Struggling to leave the sport he loves and the horses and riders of a tight-knit community, Jandreau is the soulful presence at the heart of Zhao’s wonderful, sensitive and emotionally gripping drama.