Of Girls and Horses  {Von Mädchen und Pferden}

( Von Mädchen und Pferden )

The latest feature from prolific queer filmmaker Monika Treut (Gendernauts, Frameline23) follows the slow rhythm of farm life in green and lovely Northern Germany. Alex, a troubled teen with an attitude, is sent by her harried mother for a last-ditch internship at a farm, in the care of a horse trainer named Nina. The horse trainer, who is herself retreating from busy city life, takes on her new charge as if dealing with a wild mustang. With a firm and gentle hand and kind, steady attention, Nina mentors Alex in the care and feeding of the horses. She shows Alex how to calmly and clearly communicate with the magnificent animals. Eventually, she teaches Alex how to ride, and Alex discovers the connection and freedom of being on horseback.

Holiday guest Kathy arrives with her own horse, a gift from her father. Alex resents Kathy at first for her privilege; then she grows curious and friendly. The girls become close as Kathy learns the finer points of riding and caring for her steed. One weekend when Nina goes to the city to see her girlfriend, Kathy and Alex are left to care for the horses. When the cat’s away, the mice will play. What seemed originally like punishment to Alex, this life of horses and land and physical work, opens up doors for her and a wider horizon.

In German with English subtitles.

Germany, 2014, 82 min.
Director: Monika Treut