Mustang is a true story. At the very least, the story takes its existence from a rehabilitation farm in Carson City, Nevada, in the United States. The movie starring Matthias Schoenaerts was released in 2019 and this is the true story of The Mustang.
In The Mustang, Roman Coleman is a convicted man behind bars who confronts his violent past. He is given the opportunity to participate in a rehabilitation program in which he must help tame wild horses. Coleman is assisted by veteran trainer Miles and teammate Henry. They help Roman find more and more of his humanity.
The true story of the Mustang
The characters in The Mustang are fictional, so Roman, Myles, and Henry don’t really exist, and never have. However, “Mustang” is based on a real rehabilitation clinic in the Nevada desert, the US state known for “Sin CityVegas.
Director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre told IndieWire in 2019 that before developing The Mustang, she was actually quite unfamiliar with animal therapy until she read an article in a French magazine: “Therapists entrusted prisoners in Strasbourg with small animals, which they had to take care of. Rabbits for example. For example, rats, chinchillas, birds. Those crazy groups of criminals and hardened animals intrigued me immediately.”
She even made a short film on the subject, Rabbit, which followed a prisoner trying to make contact with a therapeutic rabbit. And one thing led to another, and the idea for the Mustang was born. But at first de Clermont-Tonnerre contacted a large number of American prisoners, whom she wanted to understand. Things went great for her: “It wasn’t hard at all. I never felt like a stranger, a stranger. My research totally absorbed me and I was busy day in and day out with these guys. I listened to their stories and they felt safe with me.”
She decides to travel to a ranch to rehabilitate a mare, American Wild Horse, in Carson City. Every year, wild horses and donkeys whose survival is at risk are sheltered. The hope is that these monsters can be tamed, after which he intends to place them with new owners. Before that, mares were being tamed and trained by prisoners behind bars in Nevada.
By the way, two ex-convicts also play in The Mustang: Thomas Smittle, for example. De Clermont-Tonnerre hoped to set a good example: “This country needs that. Of course there are programs for ex-prisoners, but they often leave much to be desired. The United States has the largest number of prisoners in the world, but this immediately means that prisons must be creative. Some great software has been made, although there must be a lot of them! “
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