Scored by one of my favorite experimental musicians, Flying Lotus, ‘Wildcat’ reveals the origins of an all Black rodeo in Oklahoma. Directed by Kahlil Joseph, ‘Wildcat’ unfolds a story that may seem like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but for the town of Grayson, Oklahoma, this film is simply lifting the veil of obscurity from the mainstream ideal. Shot in a state of evanescent wonder and fleeting moments, you are literally mesmerized in fear of missing one second of spellbinding beauty.

 

wildcat 5

 

I felt a deep connection with this film which brought me back to my childhood during the summer when I would visit my Aunt in the country who owned her own horse ranch. I will never forget the exhilarating feeling the first time I saddled up and fed a horse by hand… and what I am going to say next may sound strange to some, but the way the animal gave me the once over before I came into vicinity was almost an assessment of trust. Long story, ranch hands, cowboys of color or even a black woman owning her own horse ranch was not a farfetched dream but my reality and we as a people always have to remember even if we can’t see it, there is a world much bigger than our own reality.

 

Via: 'Nowness'  (a site I have fallen utterly and completely in love with, aiming "to bring together the brightest minds in contemporary culture.")


wildcat

 

Wildcat

A dreamlike narrative binds cowboy and an angelic specter clad in white in director Kahlil Joseph’s exploration of a little-known African-American rodeo subculture. Joseph, who is part of the Los Angeles-based What Matters Most film collective, visited the annual August rodeo in the sparsely populated Oklahoma town of Grayson (previously Wildcat), an event that attracts African-American bull riders, barrel racers and cowgirls from all over the Midwest and southern USA. He set out to celebrate the origins of the rodeo by paying respect to the spirit of Aunt Janet, a member of the family who founded the event, passed away last year and is embodied as the young girl in the film. “Black people are light years more advanced than the ideas and images that circulate would have you believe. The spaces we control and exist are my ground zero for filming, at least so far, and there are opportunities for me to tap into the energy,” says Joseph who has also made films for musicians including Shabazz Palaces and Seu Jorge. “So an all-black town with an all-black rodeo in the American heartland was a kind of vortex or portal through which I could actually show this.” Wildcat is scored by experimental musician Flying Lotus, who has previously collaborated with Joseph on a short to accompany his 2012 album Until the Quiet Comes, which is showing during Sundance London this weekend.

 

Shorts on Sundays: Wildcat on Nowness.com