Glitter and Dust review – the terrifying thrills and spills of junior bull-riding

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The Guardian

Documentary focuses on the frighteningly young girls making their daddies proud in bull riding competitions

No one wants to see their kid get mangled up, says Ariyana’s dad. His pint-sized daughter is nine years old and already a champion in a sport that is statistically one of the world’s deadliest: bull riding. “Never scared” it says on Ariyana’s belt. But watching her skinny little body swinging off the back of an angry bull is white-knuckle terrifying.

German directors Anna Koch and Julia Lemke follow four cowgirls on the rodeo circuit in a low-key observant documentary that makes no judgments – though you may pass one or two of your own. You can imagine Ariyana being played by a young Jodie Foster or Chloë Grace Moretz. Her dad Xavier is a retired bull-rider – his career ended at the age of 22 after his leg was broken so badly doctors feared it would need to be amputated. Now all his focus is on raising a winner: we watch him snap irritatedly at Ariyana after she crashes off a bull. In their gentle insinuating way, the film-makers cut to another family, happily enjoying a night on the rodeo, giggling kids being kids.

Continue reading… July 18, 2022 at 05:51PM Cath Clarke

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