Monday, April 5, 2010


Showing at the Hot Docs Film Festival: Horses, written and directed by Liz Mermin

Synopsis from the film's website:

A beautifully detailed documentary following a year in the lives of three champion racehorses at an Irish stable. Director Liz Mermin captures everything that an equine athlete must go through to compete, keeping the film as close to the horses themselves as possible. Trainers and owners get their say but overall the film is about what it’s like to be a racehorse, something it achieves without recourse to sentiment or anthropomorphism. The horses are the stars and the jockeys and trainers play the supporting role!

Ireland’s horse-racing culture has produced some of the finest athletes in the world. The protagonists prove less reticent than one might imagine, and as we watch them train, rest, play, and race, distinct characters emerge.  The equine characters are framed by a charismatic collection of human supporting actors – from their good-looking, foul-mouthed trainer to an elderly groom who obviously prefers horses to people – but ultimately they command our attention on their own. Without ever straying into Disney territory, and eschewing sentimentality, Horses raises basic questions about what constitutes character and who can have it.

Written and directed by acclaimed American documentary film maker Liz Mermin (Shot in Bombay, The Beauty Academy of Kabul, Team Qatar), this unusual and beautiful observational film draws us into the inner lives of three equine athletes over the course of a difficult racing year.

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