2 June 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network

Irish Film and Television Network




Irish Distributors

Feature Documentary
YEAR: 2009
DIRECTOR: Liz Mermin    
WRITER: Liz Mermin      
PRODUCTION COMPANY: West Park Pictures   
PRODUCER: Aisling Ahmed         
CAST: John Hurt (Narrator)                  
EDITOR: Herbert Hunger      
DOP: Ken O'Mahony    Ciarán Tanham   
SOUND: Pip Norton     

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Ireland's horse-racing culture has produced some of the finest athletes in the world, and this film draws us into the lives of three of them over the course of a difficult racing year -- focusing not on jockeys or trainers, but on the horses themselves. The protagonists prove less reticent than one might imagine, and as we watch them train, rest, play, and race, distinct characters undeniably emerge. They are framed by a charismatic collection of human supporting actors, from their good-looking foul-mouthed trainer to an elderly groom who obviously prefers horses to people, but ultimately they command our attention on their own. Without ever straying into Disney territory, and eschewing sentimentality, Horses raises basic questions about what constitutes character and who can have it.

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