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In Chloe Zhao’s ‘The Rider,’ a rodeo cowboy plays himself

April 11, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Chloe Zhao’s “The Rider” is a lyrical independent film made with the Lakota residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

It’s the second film the China-born, U.S.-based filmmaker has made at Pine Ridge. “The Rider,” which opens in theaters Friday, has been hailed on the festival circuit for its unfiltered authenticity. The 22-year-old Brady Jandreau stars as a rodeo rider whose career is threatened by a head injury.

“The Rider” won the top prize of Cannes’ Directors Fortnight last year. In March, Zhao was awarded a $50,000 grant at the Independent Film Spirit Awards.

Zhao says in an interview that Hollywood would benefit from looking for stories outside its bubble.

For “The Rider,” she utilized non-professional actors, including Jandreau, his father, his sister and many of his friends.

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