Hot Docs '15 Review: Unbranded
Imagine Ice Road Truckers with Mustang horses and you have Unbranded. Whilst a very pretty film to watch it is conspicuously absent of any real heart. The testosterone laden shots of four buddies drinking, fighting and blessing ‘merica are totally unnecessary, incredibly boring to watch and above all detract from the incredible beauty of the real stars, the wild mustangs.
Director Phillip Baribeau and three of his friends adopted mustangs and rode them from Mexico to Canada in a bid to prove the worth of the mustang (according to Baribeau). Instead we get a film that is more about four dudes on an extreme wilderness trip being hyper masculine, than it is about horses or conservation. Perhaps less dialogue and removal of the drinking shots would have helped somewhat.
Despite these obvious flaws, Unbranded is very beautiful to watch and does provide good information on mustangs and the challenges they face. Hopefully as a direct result of this film more people will be inspired to adopt one of the mustangs currently in government holding pens.