John Zaritsky Director’s Statement

For a good part of my career, I have done films about the victims of crime, including murder, rape, child molestation, and domestic violence. So I approached doing a film about a prison program in southern Colorado with considerable skepticism and little sympathy for the inmates. But I was attracted to the beauty of the wild mustangs and was curious about what effect, if any, they would have on the prisoners.

The shoot stretched off and on over a period of six months and gradually, ever so gradually, I started to believe that the program actually worked for the vast majority of the men. In training and breaking wild mustangs under the guidance of a horse whisperer, they learned important life lessons such as anger management, work discipline, patience and perseverance.

By the end of the film, I became convinced that prison programs such as this one, which provide inmates with the opportunity for rehabilitation and redemption, are a much better approach than simply locking them up forever and throwing away the key. For most of the men in the film, the program was a life-changing experience and for me, much to my surprise, it was as well.