Eco-philosopher Joanna Macy has designed a "Council of All Beings" experience during which individuals step aside from their human identities and speak on behalf of other life forms. We thought of this ritual when we read criticisms of this animal drama written and produced by Jean-Jacques Annand (The Bear) for its technique of having Lukas Haas voice the part of the central character, a horse. If you can imagine the voiceover as the words of a human empathizing with an animal that is struggling to stay alive in adverse circumstances, you'll be able to go along with this narrative structure.
In a German seaport, a group of horses are loaded aboard a ship bound for the South African copper mines prior to World War I. Lucky is born on the journey and shortly after arriving in a strange new place, he is separated from his mother. Richard (Chase Moore), an orphan who is a stable boy for the mine owner, takes the horse in and looks after him. A reunion with his mother is spoiled by Caesar, a black stallion who badly hurts her. After her death, Lucky faces a worse challenge, trying to survive in the African wilderness when the mine is evacuated after bombers attack the small community.
Russian director Sergei Bodrov (Prisoner of The Mountains) makes the most of the varied African scenery and the eye-catching movement of horses on the move. Lucky finds his place in the world with a little help from his human friends. And that's just the way it should be interspecies cooperation.