THE HORSE WHISPERER
About The Story
"The term 'horse whispering' is a kind of euphemism for a state of being, a relationship between a human and a horse," says director, producer and star Robert Redford
"The term 'horse whispering' is a kind of euphemism for a
state of being, a relationship between a human and a horse,"
says director, producer and star Robert Redford. "It is simply
a way to be with horses that sends a message of understanding
and compassion. Instead of beating a horse into submission, or
using punishment as a tool, it's a way of developing trust and
understanding. If you want the horse to do something, you begin
by letting the horse know that it's okay to be a horse, not your
version of what you think you need. It's about understanding who
you are and respecting your place with one another. To have that
kind of acceptance requires a certain degree of spirituality.
"For me personally, the most important things in approaching
a film are having a good story, and having one that is character
driven, rather than being driven by technology or effects or by
outer forces," says Redford, speaking about his attraction
to the project. "The elements of this story that interested
me most were healing and consciousness. It was the issue of consciousness
that interested me particularly with the character of Annie.
"Annie MacLean has an impressive and courageous energy, and
I think that is a very attractive quality in a character,"
Redford continues. "Yet hers is a rather blind energy because
it's coming from a place that she doesn't fully understand ...
it is sort of an unconscious and undirected energy. That's a great
place to begin with a character who is moving towards vulnerability
and compassion and sensitivity. She doesn't understand herself
initially, and I think in her case it was because there was no
real center. There was something at the core that was missing
that she needed to find. That's where consciousness comes into
the character. She was driven by what was missing."
"It is very rewarding to have worked with Robert Redford
for a number of years," says producer Patrick Markey,
who recently produced "A River Runs Through It" with
Redford. "I have come to appreciate how he cares so much
about the stories that he tells. There aren't a lot of people
in our business who feel that kind of connection and commitment
so intensely "
Speaking about Redford's attraction to the project, Markey notes,
"The story is set in a place that he obviously is very fond
of ... The West, the intermountain West. And he wanted the
chance to portray this ranching family and the values they hold
dear as their lives are being somewhat invaded by this prototypical
East Coast family.
"This film provided me with the opportunity to show the West
not only as it used to be as a way of life, but as it still is
in very, very small pockets," notes Redford. "The times
we live in are changing so quickly and we mostly have a very synthetic
existence. It's almost an anomaly to find real ranch life anymore,
or to see it as a way of life where ranchers live in accordance
with nature, reaping what they live on, crop by crop and season
by season. It was interesting for me to focus on a family that
still lives the way they lived 100 years ago, where they farm
or ranch the land and yield a crop that sustains them. It was
appealing to capture that realistically, not just in seeing technically
how they do it, but as much about their behavior, their lifestyle
and the ethic and philosophy of that way of life."
''There's a profound sense of family in this movie, say
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