Karolina Poryzała & Monika Kotecka
Poland | 2021 | 80 min
Languages : Polish, English
Subtitles : English, French
Karolina Poryzała and Monika Kotecka follow the rise of a women’s amateur equestrian vaulting club, led by the energetic Natalia, who dreams of turning it into a professional national team. The camera fluidly captures the relationships between the riders, in a documentary melodrama that reveals the strength of the bonds that this adventure forges between these passionately anachronistic teenagers.
A discipline resembling acrobatic gymnastics, equestrian vaulting is a showy sport requiring perfect harmony between mounts and riders. In competition, the teams perform compulsory exercises to music, such as the “stand” or the “flag”. In direct cinema, Karolina Poryzała and Monika Kotecka follow the rise of the women’s amateur club Volteo, led by the energetic but attentive Natalia, who dreams of turning it into a professional national team. The two filmmakers build a gripping account, between intensive training, unforeseen developments, events, pleasures and struggles, immersing us in the daily life of this group of young Polish vaulters for whom learning this demanding discipline is a veritable life lesson. In this respect, The Herd constitutes a choral portrait that powerfully shows the unbreakable bond forged by teenagers embarking upon a collective adventure – their passionate commitment revealing them as anachronistic figures in a world that places value on fervent individualism.