Taking an example from Kelly Reichardt and Valeska Grisebach, Chloé Zhao proves in her second film that westerns are no longer an exclusively male domain. Fascinated by the real story of a young cowboy from South Dakota named Brady Jandreau, whose brilliant career was interrupted by a serious accident, the director mixes truth with fiction while tenderly observing people stuck in the past- not least because the future doesn't have much to offer them. Working with amateur actors she met while shooting her previous film, Songs My Brothers Taught Me,which was screened during the 17th edition of the New Horizons Festival, Zhao is not trying to show off. Rather than reworking the clichés of a well-worn genre, she prefers to focus on characters who stoically accept life's disappointments, and, rather than winning, she is more interested in seeing them mature to a point of being able to accept failure. In her world, there probably wouldn't be much space for John Wayne-or perhaps he would learn a thing or two.
Born in Beijing in 1982, Chloé Zhao is a director of Chinese descent who lives in the United States. She studied at Mount Holyoke College and at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Her debut film, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which was shown at the 17th edition of the New Horizons Festival, premiered at Sundance in 2015. An award winner at the Cannes Festival, among others, and nominated for a prestigious Independent Spirit Award, The Rider is her second full-length film.
2008 Post (short)
2010 Daughters (short)
2011 Benachin (short)
2015 Pieśni moich braci / Songs My Brothers Taught Me
2017 The Rider