For those of you who love to watch Bravo, be on the lookout in the next couple of months for the documentary “Chasing Wild Horses,” a film that chronicles one of former fashion photographer, Roberto Dutesco’s three visits to Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Having first seen his work on the living room wall of a former associate who met him in the Hampton’s, I was later excited in 2006 to notice the creation of his SoHo gallery, located at 13 Crosby Street, dedicated to his project “The Wild Horses of Sable Island.” Dutesco co-founded the gallery with his business partner and curator of the exhibit, Peter Tunney. Weeks later, I had the pleasure of attending the exhibit’s opening night party and was in awe of the gorgeous, almost other wordly, photographs that he had taken while on his photographic journey to Sable Island.
This past Friday, I was invited to the screening of the film “Chasing Wild Horses” that documents his visit in 2007, and it is altogether, spectacular, completely uncommercial (in the best sense of the phrase), and emotionally stirring. I was utterly transported to this very special world, which exists on a piece of land that stretches only 40 kilometers long, and where about 350 horses have minimal contact with a small staff of scientists that look after the place. The film points out how natural selection is well at work on Sable Island, where the strongest survive. It begs us to ask the question, should humans get involved there at all? The film references a male horse who had broken his leg four years prior, and still limping, was looking to mate, showing the horse’s resiliency. Dutesco, unexpectedly found himself narrating this piece and he brings a wealth of emotions to his recollections of his experiences. Perhaps, the most poignant part of the documentary is in its final minutes, in which the audience gets a glimpse of Dutesco nuzzling with a group of horses, in the most natural and fundamental way.
It was hard not to leave the intimate venue at the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park South without having shed a tear and having been changed in some way. Days later, I am still both haunted and delighted by what I experienced.
For more information on the documentary read the piece in Halifax’s The Coast.