I went to “Dark Horse” expecting a movie and got a documentary. Most documentaries are meant to sway your thinking one way or another but this documentary presents a story and was delightful, especially if you like horses and riding horses.
“Dark Horse” is a true story of a barmaid, Jan Vokes, of the former pit village (Cefn Fforest, Caerphilly) of southern Wales who decides to breed a racehorse and with the help of thirty other working class people in her small mining town creates an alliance of owners who take on the elite ‘sport of kings’ in the United Kingdom.
Vokes finds a mare that once was a racehorse and breeds her with a Stallion with an affordable stud fee. Their colt was named ‘Dream Alliance’. Dream Alliance became the dream horse that the alliance dreamed of owning.
“Dark Horse” was written and directed by Louise Osmond. Osmond has directed eighteen documentaries before and is an experienced cinematographer. The cinematography of the Welsh countryside was fantastic. Wales is a gorgeous country and I enjoyed looking at the lush green landscape.
Osmond did an excellent job splicing with pieces of television film of real races from race courses in Wales and England with the interviews of the real owners. It was interesting to see the differences from the owners now and the owners when the races were run eight to ten years ago.
I did have trouble with the accents on several of the owners. With a couple of the guys particularly I only heard every third or fourth word but even so, I heard enough to thoroughly enjoy the film.
This documentary takes you on a roller coaster ride. The ups and downs of “Dark Horse” keep your attention riveted to the screen. You jump every fence with the horses and the jockeys. When Dream Alliance wins you rejoice, when he loses you’re disappointed, when he has problems, you want to cry but in the end it is a very heart- warming film worth the time it takes to watch.