A wonderful documentary on breeding a racehorse, even for those who don’t love horses.
Dark Horse (2016)
Cast: Jan Voxes, townspeople of Cefn Fforest in Wales
Director & Writer: Louise Osmond
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent. 47 436 (8/23/16)
Video: 2.40:1 for 16:9 screens, color
Audio: English (Welsh accent) DD 5.1
Subtitles: English (often needed), English SDH, French
Extras: Photo gallery
Length: 86 min.
This is a real-life fairy tale about a group of friends in a little Welsh coal-mining town, 23 of whom decide to put in a small amount of their money to breed themselves a true racehorse and thus take on the elite “sport of kings.” In spite of their very low allotment, the breeder has done budgies and dogs before and knows something about it. She has a dream of beating the best thoroughbreds in the land and they get both a mare and a stallion at bargain prices. The foal, which they cooperatively name Dream Alliance, is gangly and fairly slow at first, but turns out to be an unlikely champion.
Dream Alliance wins a lot of money back for each of the alliance members after winning an important Welsh race. But in the next even more important race they has near-fatal accident which injures one her tendons. The vet uses stem-cell work to tend to Dream Alliance, and eventually he becomes the first horse to race again after his remarkable recovery from this. However, he can no longer run faster than the other horses and is returned to his slag heap farm environment by his loving alliance to live out the rest of his life there.
The horse has to compete against some of the wealthiest people, who look down on the alliance and its members from the village. This is emphasized in the film. The merits of collective actions over individual gain is a major point of the film. A heart-warming documentary with a real heart, and you’ll absolutely love the horse almost as much as they did.