ATLAN. Dir. Moein Karimoddini. 2015, 62min. Documentary. Turkmen Sahra, Iran. NY Premiere! Tickets
In the Turkmen language, the word Atlan means “get on your horse and get going.” With the story of young trainer, Ali, and his horse, Ilhad, director Moein Karimoddini has us galloping within the unique Turkmen culture of northeastern Iran. Ali has raised and trained his orphaned horse for three years. They start out on a winning streak, favored to win the annual championship; however, Ilhan suddenly becomes wild and unmanageable, refusing to even leave the starting gate. Ali struggles with the stress of trying to retrain Ilhad and the pressure of needing money for his already-delayed wedding, but all the while the bond to his favorite horse is never shaken.
White Mane is a poetic family favorite, beautifully shot on location in the marshes of SE France by director Albert Lamorisse (The Red Balloon, also creator of the board game, Risk) and cinematographer Edmond Séchan. A gang of mean ranchers try to capture and tame the magnificent leader of a herd of wild horses, but only Folco, a young fisherman, is able to ride him. The two go looking for the freedom in which horses and children can be friends forever that the world of men won’t allow. White Mane won numerous awards upon its release, including Short Film Palme d’Or Grand Prize at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.