Fast Horse is a heart-racing, action-packed documentary-short, following a Blackfoot bareback horse-riding competition. The cinematography is breathtaking; I’d never seen Indigenous sportsmanship shot so beautifully and intensely before.
You think a relay race, passing a baton while running at fast as humanly possible, is cool. Try adding horses into the mix.
That’s the premise of Fast Horse, the Sundance Film Festival’s award-winning short documentary, following the Blackfoot team Old Sun as they prepare for the Calgary Stampede’s Indian Relay competition. In it, a jockey rides a thoroughbred horse bareback, and at the end of every lap, they must jump onto the next horse.
Old Sun is made up of a small group of men from the Siksika Nation in Calgary, Alberta, as they choose their three horses, and train their new jockey, Cody Big Tobacco, in preparation for the big event.
It’s a beautifully shot film, switching between the adrenaline-fueled race and the preparation, which includes shots of Big Tobacco skipping rope with a blue-drenched sky and tepee as his backdrop.
The film from Cree director and screenwriter Alexandra Lazarowich, is a breathtaking 13-minutes, and weaves together this modern competition with family, tradition and heart.