Brady Jandreau, a twenty-year-old horse trainer and bronco rider of South Dakota, was pursuing his dream of becoming a rodeo star when he sustained a near-fatal head accident. Inspired by Brady’s recovery and his efforts to go back to the life he had before, Chinese-born filmmaker Chloé Zhao made this beautifully delicate feature that addresses themes such as having to give up on your dream, family dynamics and the sense of masculinity in a place where macho archetypes are omnipresent. Somewhere between fiction and documentary, the film features non-professional actors playing themselves with heartbreaking authenticity. Set in the prairie and mountainous scenery of the Badlands in South Dakota, the land captured by Zhao’s lens seems as arid and rough as its name implies and understandably rubs off on its inhabitants.
After establishing herself as a gifted filmmaker with her delicately melancholic debut film Songs My Brother Taught Me, which won many prizes in 2015, Chloé Zhao reaffirms her exceptional talent with her award-winning second feature, The Rider. In this lyrical and dreamlike film, the director tackles the figure of the cowboy, historically a central character in American cinema, with an affecting realism and her unique vision, as genuine and subtle as it is moving and sad. The Rider won numerous awards at various international festivals such as Cannes, Valladolid, Athens, Reykjavik and Hamburg, and received four nominations at the Independent Spirit Awards for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Editing, making it one of the most anticipated indie gems of 2018.
2018: Nominated for best picture, direction, cinematography and editing – Independent Spirit Awards
2017: Best Picture and Direction – Valladolid Film Festival
2017: Best Feature – Hamburg Film Festival
2017: C.I.C.A.E. Award al Festival de Cannes
2017: Best Feature – Athens Film Festival
2017: Special jury Prize – Deauville Film Festival
Runtime: 111 min
Direction: Chloé Zhao
Screenplay: Chloé Zhao
Cinematography: Joshua James Richards
OST: Nathan Halpern
Cast: Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Cat Clifford
Contact: Caramel Films