Movies That Might Change Your Life: ‘Buck’

There are some aspects of the horse-human relationship that run deeper than we give them credit for. Buck is a documentary about cowboy horse-whisperer Buck Brannaman.

The 2011 film follows Brannaman from his abusive childhood to his career as a phenomenally successful horse trainer who eschews the violence of his upbringing, teaching people instead to communicate with their horses through leadership and sensitivity. To a horseperson, his approach to gentling horses might not seem particularly groundbreaking, as natural horsemanship techniques have become fairly commonplace in recent decades. The more interesting story is the metaphor Buck represents, as a man who overcame tremendous odds to live an extraordinary life, and its exploration of the animal-human relationship.

We don’t want to give away too much here, because you really ought to see if yourself. The film won honors at Sundance in 2011, and it was shortlisted for the Academy Awards “Best Documentary.”

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