The story of a young rodeo cowboy of Sioux descent who’s been sidelined by an injury after falling off his horse.
Warned it could be fatal if he rides again, Brady (played by real-life rodeo star Brady Jandreau, whose own life and career-ending injury inspired the film) struggles with the idea of a future devoid of the one activity that gives him meaning.
Working with a cast of non professionals who play themselves - this includes Brady’s autistic sister and his paraplegic best friend and fellow rodeo casualty, Lane Scott - and are often re-enacting events from their own lives, Zhao achieves a lovely balance between unflinching realism and the hauntingly lyrical.
Won the Art Cinema Award in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes 2017.
'The craft, the knowledge, the deep communication with the animal, shown without words - this is breathtaking, transcendent cinema.' Anne-Katrin Titze, Eye For Film
'The feel of the real has rarely felt so real in this very special film.' Dave Aldridge, Radio Times
'The Rider may very well be the best film of 2018.' Richard Propes, The Independent Critic