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Fast Horse

written by Kathia Woods

Fast Hose is a movie made about Native American Horse racing. We had the pleasure to sit down with the director Alexandra Lazarowich at Sundance. She herself is a Native woman most specifically Cree.

The film recently won the Special Jury Award for directing at Sundance

Below you find a description of the film as well the link for your viewing pleasure

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FAST HORSE is an intimate verité visit to a fascinating and little-known world: the dangerous and high-stakes game of Indian Relay. In Blackfoot country, they call the Indian Relay “North America’s original extreme sport.” Jockeys bareback gallop their horses around a track, jumping off one and on to another in a chaotic melee of horses and handlers at “the exchange”. Accidents happen. Just finishing a race demands masterful skill. And courage.

Siksika horseman Allison RedCrow dreams of bringing a team to the “greatest outdoor show on Earth” – the Calgary Stampede. This is how he and his people can show the world that their unparalleled skill on horseback remains intact.

Lazarowich's cameras follow Allison and his new jockey, Cody BigTobacco, over the course of a year, as they assemble a team of horses, train them for the relay race, and finally make their debut at the Calgary Stampede. Their team, Old Sun, will face the best riders in the Confederacy, many of them veteran competitors from Montana.

FAST HORSE puts the audience on the back of a galloping horse, an exhilarating POV experience that captures the thrill and risk of this white-knuckle sport. But the film also captures in observational style the touching bond Cody and Allison have with their horses. We witness with the committed effort these majestic animals demand from their riders and handlers. We see the horses accept their role, and learn the complex movements of the race. And through this process, we come to understand and respect the skills of horsemanship still intact and passed down.

With a heart-pumping climax, we experience the final race at the Calgary Stampede from Cody’s own perspective. And just as promised, we learn just how unpredictable and dangerous the Indian Relay can be.