Brady is a rising rodeo star suffering from a traumatic head injury sustained in the ring. Though he longs to climb back in the saddle, Brady finds himself torn between the macho allure of cowboy life and obligations to his widowed father and autistic sister. During visits with Lane—a paraplegic ex-rodeo star—and amid struggles to train an ornery horse, Brady is forced to face a life outside of the ring. Zhao’s expressive use of color and composition captures the crackling campfires and lonely beauty of the desert landscape, refiguring the masculine tropes of the western. The Rider balances vérité naturalism with lyrical images to craft an introspective elegy for a vanishing way of life.
Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Lane Scott, Cat Clifford