Mar 28, 2017
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Overlooked & Underrated Docs & Features (click on broll or dschwartz for all his posts)
Roaming Wild: America’s Wild Horses
Sylvia Johnson’s “
” is a contemporary examination of the state of wild horses in the United States—the western half, of course. Johnson interviews Bureau of Land Management (BLM) current and former workers, a rancher who clearly loves horses but his livelihood is impacted by wild horses, folks who have dedicated their lives to saving wild horses, and Dan Elkins, a horse lover who deserves his own documentary film.
Elkins is James Bond’s “Q” in coming up with devices and structures to improve our treatment of wild horses. He invented a way to ‘gather’—the politically correct word for rounding up wild horses—which is much less traumatic than their usual round-up by helicopter. He also invented an elaborate remote control device that can be used to reduce fertility in family groups—thus reducing the need to imprison wild horses for life, or to allow them to be slaughtered and shipped outside the United States for human consumption.
The humanitarian goal is to find ways to create a sustainable population of wild horses—without, of course, the need to round them up for life or kill them. Toward that end, the BLM seems to be taking fertility reduction seriously—as of this film’s production.
But, whatever methods are used to ‘manage’ our population of wild horses, the bottom line is that because of human demands for resources their numbers continues to decrease—that diminution will continue until we start managing ourselves.
Now you can’t get away with making a film about wild horses without beautiful shots of wild horses—in their family groups, running through their lands, and up close with their rescuers. Johnson, of course, complies with that requirement.
To arrange a screening in your area, see:
Roaming Wild Site
D. Schwartz March 3, 2014