Unbranded

Film, Documentaries
3 out of 5 stars
Unbranded

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

In this picturesque documentary, four young Americans ride on horseback from the Mexican border to Canada

How did you spend your gap year? Unless the answer’s climbing Everest or training to be an astronaut, prepare to feel just a little unadventurous. Fresh out of university, Texas boy Ben Masters corralled three friends and ten horses then set out to ride the range from the Mexican border to Canada along a stretch of protected wilderness. This documentary follows their trail, from the cactus deserts of Arizona to the epic granite sprawl of Glacier National Park. It’s stunningly photographed – how could it not be? – and Masters’s decision to adopt and train wild mustangs for the trip adds an ecological undercurrent.

The problem here is that our cheerful, corn-fed young heroes aren’t terribly interesting people. So the doc can feel a bit like thumbing through the holiday snaps of a slightly dull friend – at least until the final minutes, when an argument between two of the boys results in a strange, fascinating act of macho self-sabotage. Greater conflict (or simply more probing interviews) might have made for a more gripping movie. But what’s here will delight anyone who dreams of living free, sleeping rough and scoffing beans around the campfire.

Details

Release details

Release date:
Friday November 27 2015
Duration:
106 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Phillip Baribeau