Traditionally, cowboys, ranchers, and rodeo folk employed techniques of pain and punishment to break and train horses, but not Buck Brannaman. The renowned horse trainer (and real-life inspiration for Robert Redford's "The Horse Whisperer") preaches a more humane method that involves forging a sort of spiritual connection with the animals. Over the course of the film we learn that Buck's inspiration lies close to home, as he himself was abused by a cold, demanding father. Miraculously, his own early experience yielded a special gift to heal the sometimes emotionally traumatized horses that cross his path.
“Buck” is a revealing and intimate portrait of one extraordinary human being, an authentic folk hero who embodies the ideals of strength and decency that we all associate with the American cowboy. Beyond presenting Buck's compelling perspective on the ancient, deep-rooted link between people and horses, the film also succeeds in portraying Brannaman as a victim of his own mission, as his work takes him all over the country, too often on his own, without the presence of the family he loves. Even if you’ve never mounted a horse, this poignant, engrossing tribute is a must see.