Pure Grit Image

Pure Grit

By Abhishek Sharma | March 31, 2022

Pure Grit is not just a factual, informative documentary but a story that delves deep into the life of its subject, Sharmaine Weed. Writer/director Kim Bartley explores each instinct and facet with sheer emotional focus. Sharmaine Weed is a professional bareback horse rider who has been off the tracks for more than a year and is now looking for a comeback to continue following her passion. The filmmaker takes us on a journey of aspirations, sufferings, relationships, entrapment, inspiration, and hope.

Bartley spent three years with Weed and her family, as well as with her peers. She explores the impact on the latter’s life caused by almost every dimension of her surroundings. Bartley has ensured to construct Weed’s entire life through a story narrated by Weed herself and her family members, who altogether have shared major challenges and crises. The idea of delving into the personal lives of Weed, her girlfriend Savannah Martinez, and their families makes this tale of adventure, love, and circumstances much more personal and highly sentimental. These accounts from her family and loved ones allow us to know Sharmaine Weed and her life better.

Sharmaine Weed is a professional bareback horse rider who has been off the tracks for more than a year…”

Pure Grit begins with the introduction of Weed’s family, beginning with her elder brother. As he narrates what life is like in the Wind River region of Wyoming, Bartley takes us to an isolated town. She then transitions the visuals to show a vast, stretching landscape covered in winter snow. The town has a limited number of socializing arenas, which alienates the population from the rest of the urban world, a notion Bartley uses to express the extraordinarily divergent lifestyle in the wilderness of Wind River. That same divergence in life further impacts the growth and development of the subjects.

But that is just the groundwork. The cynosure is on several aspects of Weed’s family, their hardships, and how those tough times have shaped each member. The horseback rider’s pure and downright assertiveness while being transparent and completely open about the difficulties she’s facing is amazing. Her deeply hurtful but inspirational life deserves the utmost appreciation. While Bartley constructs the tale into a consistent story, Weed is the one who drives its core.

Pure Grit (2022)

Directed and Written: Kim Bartley

Starring: Sharmaine Weed, Savannah Martinez, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

Pure Grit Image

"…the most complete documentary I have ever seen..."

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