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Reel Docs Presents The Horse Boy

By Caren Cross

The Horse Boy is one of my favorite documentary films. I’ve been trying to get the director to come to San Miguel for the past four years. Finally I got a “yes!”

Reel Docs Documentary Film Series
The Horse Boy
Mon, Feb 16 and Tue Feb 17, 4pm
Teatro Santa Ana
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
80 pesos includes film, Q&A,
and margarita reception

The film is part travel adventure, part insight into shamanic tradition, and part intimate look at the autistic mind. The Horse Boy chronicles the events of a sensitive, intelligent young couple and their attempts to get help for their autistic son. The mom is a psychology professor in Austin and the dad is a writer and former horse trainer. Rowan is a perfectly normal, charming child until the age of two and a half. At this point he stops speaking. He screams inconsolably for hours at a time and at other times he retreats into himself. We watch the parents as they desperately try to deal with him.

When traditional therapies have little effect, they search for alternative methods. The film follows the family as they seek help from shamans and trek on horseback through Mongolia.

Director Michel Orion Scott will be on hand for a question and answer session following the film. Scott earned a degree in film and also studied modern dance. He’s worked on Hollywood films as well as experimental films. He’s always had a passion for nature and thus he searches for ways to use his career in film to deepen his relationship with the earth. This interest of his comes out loud and clear in the beautifully shot and sensitive The Horse Boy.

Reel Docs is now in its 8th year. It is an ongoing documentary film series in which outstanding documentaries are shown with the director present for discussion following the film. A margarita reception follows in which audience members may speak directly with the filmmaker.

The Horse Boy premiered at Sundance in 2009 and has won multiple awards.


“…Lovely, amazing, wonderfully provocative film.”…Washington Post.

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