The wild mustangs of America just got a boost from a pair of celebrity supporters. Movie star and film producer Robert Redford has teamed with music icon Bruce Springsteen on the feature documentary The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses.
Mustangs have been in the news a lot this past year with several explosive investigative pieces, including the New York Times, that examined how the Bureau of Land Management’s program where adoptees who were given $1,000 to provide homes for mustangs were turning around the selling the horses to slaughterhouses.
The BLM, whose mandate is to manage the horses, also came under fire for a round-up during the extreme drought season this past summer, including the use of helicopters that is considered inhumane. There are approximately 80,000 wild mustangs roaming the American landscape, and another 50,000 in government corrals.
According to an article in Variety, “America’s wild horses are fighting their last stand,” Redford, who is executive producer of the film along with Springsteen’s wife Patti Scialfa and daughter Jessica, told the entertainment new outlet. “Increasing competition for our natural resources threatens our wilderness areas, our wild horses and other wildlife species. Horses are interwoven into the very fabric of what is America. What threatens them threatens us all.”
Springsteen, whose daughter Jessica rode on the US showjumping team at this past summer’s Olympics in Tokyo, is also a horseman. In 2019 his album Western Stars was released to critical and commercial success, and a subsequent documentary featured the rocker riding his horse in the rugged American landscape. One of the album tracks, Chasing Wild Horses, is about a young man who is involved in the mustang round-ups. The Boss contributes to The Mustangs movie soundtrack, alongside Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris.
Another angle the documentary takes is on equine assisted therapy that uses mustangs to work with veterans with PTSD, specifically Operation Wild Horse.
The Redford/Springsteen film is set to be released October 15 in theatres, then on VOD late in November.
Another feature doc from the filmmaker of the Black Beauty reboot, the movie Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West not only captured the summer mustang round-up, but director Ashley Avis also took to Capitol Hill to protest the BLM’s handling of the wild horses. Her film is set for release next year.
Watch the trailer for The Mustangs: