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MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 18-24 May: One film a day chosen by writer/director Deborah Haywood

THE RIDER “A modern-day western in which the machismo is secondary”. The Independent We asked one of our favourite filmmakers, Deborah Haywood to pick one film a day in response to Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May); the theme of which is “kindness.” Day four and we have The Rider, a 2017 American contemporary western drama film written, produced and directed by Chloé Zhao. The film stars Brady Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lane Scott, and Cat Clifford and was shot in the badlands of South Dakota.

Here’s Haywood, explaining why she chose this beautiful film.

” The way Brady gives his brain-injured friend access to some dignity moved me so deeply that I wanted to smash my way into that big screen and onto the film and thank him for being so kind. The fact that the film is infused with documentary and Lane really is so badly injured, and Brady really does make a huge difference in his friend Lane’s mental health, makes me cry. Kindness changes lives, and saves lives”. 

SYNOPSIS After suffering a near fatal head injury, a young cowboy undertakes a search for new identity and what it means to be a man in the heartland of America. Once a rising star of the rodeo circuit, young cowboy Brady is warned that his competition days are over after a tragic riding accident. Back home, Brady finds himself wondering what he has to live for when he can no longer do what gives him a sense of purpose: to ride and compete. In an attempt to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and tries to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.


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