If We Want To

Most importantly, we learn about the problem of land and wildlife management – a problem that is vital for us to solve if we want to leave a proper legacy for our children.” –Reel Life with Jane

It’s that time of year when annual lists are published. Best movies, books, music, people, and events. I think most of the “best” I’ve experienced is ordinary becoming extraordinary.

Today I watched Unbranded. It’s a vivid and beautifully portrayed documentary about four Aggies (Whoop!) who post graduation want to make an epic 3,000 mile trip on horseback from Mexico to Canada. But not just with any horses, they want to do it with mustangs – wild horses – to continue conversation about this species and the various sides of argument associated with protecting wild horses, protecting the land, and unfortunate pitting of ranching versus preservation somewhere in between.

Powerful camera angles sketch their adventure across the West, visiting places surely ridden by Gus McCrae and Teddy Roosevelt alike. Their horses balk on steep slopes and cholla cactus filled desert-scape, the riders lose favorite steeds to illness and even one to death, they rodeo in the heart of the West on July 4th, they bicker, they laugh, they ponder. Many great musings come from these four men and those who help them on their journey.A trusty donkey named “Donquita” follows the drive and impresses at times with graceful leaps across obstacles and hind leg kicks at sheep in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is calming to hear their words echo much of my own sentiment about what it means to figure out living your life and doing it with a purpose about things important to you.

I highly recommend the movie. It was funded through a Kickstarter project, which also pleases me about the power of crowdfunding for a cause. And it’s on Netflix, so now (most of) you really don’t have an excuse. Then, you can purchase your own copy in a wide variety of hard copy or digital download versions from their website, because you’ll be sure to want to add this to your Best Of collection.


Cover photo credit: Unbranded Blog by Ben Masters here


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