‘Horses’, a new feature documentary from Liz Mermin which follows a year in the lives of three Irish racehorses as they partake in races, training and encounter memorable characters daily, will broadcast on RTE One on March 16. The doc is narrated by actor John Hurt (V for Vendetta, The Elephant Man).
Ireland’s horse-racing culture has produced some of the finest athletes in the world, and this 77 minute feature doc looks to draw audiences into the lives of three of them over the course of a difficult racing year -- focusing not on jockeys or trainers, but on the horses themselves.
The featured horses are framed by a collection of human supporting actors, from their good-looking foul-mouthed trainer to an elderly groom who, quite clearly, prefers horses to people. In this approach ‘Horses’ seeks to raise basic questions about what constitutes character and who can have it.
Liz Mermin (The Beauty Academy of Kabul, Shot in Bombay) the writer and director or ‘Horses’ tells IFTN what her hopes are for the project: ”As I got deeper into the film, particularly in the edit,” she explains, “I became convinced that this seemingly frivolous project was in fact of the deepest psychological and existential importance [I may also have gone slightly mad]. Though it may not change anyone’s world, I do hope that ‘Horses’ will be appreciated as a story of three characters trying to earn their keep in a rather unforgiving world.”
‘Horses’ is a West Park Pictures West production, produced by Aisling Ahmed (Learning Gravity), and executive producers are James Mitchell (The Disappearance) and Andre Singer (Pole to Pole). Bert Hunger (This is my Africa) was the feature’s editor whilst Ken O'Mahony (The Irish Township) and Ciaran Tanham (Northanger Abbey) acted as then project's directors of photography.
‘Horses’ screens on Tuesday, March 16th at 10.15pm on RTÉ1.