Last night I saw the documentary Buck about horse whisperer Buck Brannaman. This movie is not just for horse lovers. It’s a touching story of hope and humanity—how one man overcame the pain and horrors of his early childhood and turned that experience, with the help of loving foster parents, into helping horses and their owners. Instead of repeating the cycle of abuse his father perpetrated on him, Buck found a way to transmute that pain into love, understanding, patience, and compassion.
Buck is a modern-day cowboy version of Gandhi.
The film shows Buck at work—his 40 weeks on the road each year traveling from town to town putting on horse clinics for the locals, showing them how to communicate with and handle their horses. The film shows us where Buck comes from—his harsh early years where he developed the survival skills and insights that eventually set his personal philosophy. We also get to see him working on the set of the movie the Horse Whisperer with Robert Redford.
What does this story have to do with writing? As writers, we’re constantly on the lookout for good characterization, setting, dialogue, etc. This movie has it all—but there was something else I learned about being a writer. Read more