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Horses run free in Wild Beauty

Ashley Avis joins a controversy linked to Nevada in her new film Wild Beauty with the subtitle Mustang: Spirit of the West. Learning about horses when she directed an update of Black Beauty for Disney Plus, Avis followed up by taking her own production team through 13 different Western states including Nevada, tracking horses in the wild and in holding pens following helicopter roundups. With spectacular cinematography by Kai Krause, the film contrasts the panic caused by roundups versus the phenomenal beauty of horses in the range. Speaking her own well-written narration, Avis makes her views clear, celebrating nature while providing time for adversaries. Some ranchers have a say in the film, hoping to find a more equitable balance that allows both businesses and horses to survive—granted, not a prevailing view by the industry. Avis also includes footage of government representatives stating their thoughts. She questions the evaluations made by the Bureau of Land Management, countering claims about starvation by showing healthy looking herds running free. Meanwhile shots of injured, bleeding horses casts doubt

on official descriptions of roundups as humane. In all probability, neither the agency nor many large ranching corporations will like this film. Saying quote, “we need the tonic of wildness,” Avis and her movie asks for better and more accurate methods of dealing with the horses that roam free in Nevada and other states. Wild Beauty opens in theater next week and can also be found with Video on Demand.

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