After seeing Cindy Meehl‘s Buck at South by Southwest, I wrote the following: “At first I had a notion that Buck (IFCFilms, 6.17) was just a nice emotional atmosphere film that didn’t have any wider echoes or implications, but I gradually began to see it’s as much about healing humans as horses.

“As it reveals more and more about Buck Brannaman‘s work and personal life, Buck passes along lessons about getting past childhood trauma and correcting parental errors and ways to heal…all that good stuff. The fact that youngish horses are the recipients of said therapy doesn’t obscure the fact that many if not most of Brannaman’s teachings apply to troubled kids and teens, and also for that matter (in theory at least) troubled adults.

“Feeling unloved and ganged-up-upon and pressured isn’t a good thing for any man or beast. We all just need to chill and feel safe and unthreatened, and to not be so afraid of making a mistake that we can’t move. What I got from the film is that if all afraid, angry and unhappy people had someone like Brannaman to calm them down and steer them in healthier, more positive directions, the world would be a much calmer, wiser and better place.”