When situations move Joseph Piner, he does more than talk. He picks up his camera and makes a movie. An independent documentary film maker since the 1980’s he’s made films that grab hearts and evoke action in a wide range of issues. Dedicated to informing the public about concerns too often ignored, or at best mildly addressed, Joe works to shine the light that others might see, understand and get involved. Set to be released this fall, his latest documentary, “Free Spirits – Saving America’s Wild Horses,” positions a bold spotlight squarely on the plight of America’s wild horses and burros, as well as the BLM’s abuses inflicted on the wild ones, and the lies and corruption.
When Joe heard about a fellow who adopts and trains BLM wild horses, and brings at-risk youths to his Ranch to introduce the two to each other, hoping to change both the at risk youth and the wild horses lives, he knew he had to tell their story. “I finally visited his ranch and was very impressed by the stories he told about our wild horses. I had no idea that there were wild horses running across the open ranges of the west. I did my research and was blown away about the plight of these horses and saw that this was a much bigger story than a man adopting wild mustangs. From that moment on, ‘Free Spirits –Saving America’s Wild Horses’ was a go to make a full feature documentary about saving the American wild horses.” Joe explained.
“What I have learned is that we better get it together before it’s too late and we lose these beautiful creatures. At this rate it won’t be long until they’re gone from their natural ranges in the west and our kids, grandkids and future generations will never see these beautiful powerful animals running across the open plains … all they’ll see is these massive holding facilities with all our American treasure warehoused, languishing with broken hearts and spirits inside.
|Joe filming in the badlands|
“I’ve also learned through making this film, the BLM needs to stop making management decisions based on a system filtered down through the cattle Industry. They do not listen to a word environmental groups, horse advocates, and horse lovers are saying. The people I’ve interviewed have come up with good strong management plans, such as we need to manage these horses on the range and not round ups, we need to stop killing the horse’s natural predators just to name a few.
“As for the environmental groups, wild horse advocates, and horse lovers, they need to come together and join forces to make positive change. I see too much fighting with each other while we all want the same thing. Everybody has a different way of doing things, it does not mean that one way is right over the other. Stop being jealous, fighting and putting each other down and come together for the horses, if that’s what you are truly about. A wolf pack doesn’t take down pray four times its size by itself – no they join together and take down large animals and the hole pack gets to eat. All I am saying is join the pack and take down your large prey which would be the wild horse situation.” Joe said.
|Wild horse drinking in Nevada|
Join Joe on Facebook HERE
Watch the movie trailer HERE
Have a look at the movie website HERE
Joe was a contributor to my upcoming feature article in TrailBlazer magazine, “The Last Wild Horse In America Died Today,” and it’s an honor to feature him and his thoughts here. Thanks Joe!
Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry