The main character of Horse-Being is Karen, a 50-year-old French former teacher and father of a daughter. Karen is currently training with an American cowboy for her transformation into a horse. In this form of role-play, known as “pony play,” Karen dresses up as a “horse-being.” As she undergoes physical training for dressage and pulling a cart, the boundary between reality and dream blurs. An associative montage of handheld footage in which Karen works with the cowboy among the horses segues into lyrical shots that finally dissolve into dream images of a mythical, paradisiacal forest. The recurring androgynous voice of a male soprano on the soundtrack, singing Thomas Morley’s song “Sweet nymph, come to thy lover,” gives an aural representation of the reverie that allows Karen to escape from the everyday world, which she finds hard to bear. On the National Day of the Horse, she meets another “pony” who dreams of being a unicorn. Between the almost magical training sessions, Karen reflects – in the kitchen of her lodgings or outside with a cigarette – on the meaning and value of pony play in her life. A poetic reflection on humanity, gender, life, love and nature.
François-Pierre Clavel for Kidam
Vice Media France