Stunningly shot in the marshes of Camargue, France, filmaker Albert Lamorisse won the Short Film Palme d’Or Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his 1953 film “Crin Blanc.”
Crin Blanc, or White Mane, is the lead stallion of a band of wild grey horses – herds of which have lived for centuries in the Rhône delta- whose capture is sought by the rough-riding Camargue “cowboys.” White Mane’s grace and courage are noted by Folco, a young fisherman who sets out to tame him with gentler methods as they roam the grassy dunes. Their fable of freedom vs. domination transpires with few words, instead spoken mostly through a silent yet clearly discernable language between horse and boy.
Though marketed primarily as a children’s film (and re-released in 1986 with Lamorisse’s award winning “The Red Balloon”), Crin Blanc has an art house tone, with New York Times critic Terrence Rafferty stating “you sense, as in few other films, the real terrors of nature” and calling Lamorisse “one of the cinema’s best poets and a fearless explorer of the scary and exhilarating outbacks of the imagination.”
For equestrians, the 47 minutes of black and white footage of White Mane, his harem, and young Folco are simply an exquisite, indulgent equine fantasy.
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