Salim (Rajiv Weliwitigoda) is late to his horse riding lesson, but that’s the least of instructor Julia’s (Chersti Rydning) problems. Recently mailed a notice of foreclosure, her mind is elsewhere and she has little patience for the fast talking, impatient city slicker who wants to be proficient enough riding horses for a rapidly approaching trip, despite never having dealt with the animal before.
Ryan Strandjord’s short film, City Boots, delivers us a snapshot of two lives. It’s honest in its portrayal of these moments; it doesn’t try to make any sweeping statements or change the lives of its characters in a massively dramatic fashion within its running time.
Which is why the film succeeds, its natural and realistic approach to bridging gaps in background, personality, gender and even species. This naturally honest portrayal is followed all the way through to even the time of the year, which appears to be late Fall or early Winter. Just as the personalities and timing aren’t ideal for this type of learning situation, neither is the season. However, it underscores that Julia truly needs this lesson, and Salim does too.
Still, while certain experiences in life are transformative, don’t expect Salim to suddenly move out to the country after attempting to connect with his horse. This also isn’t about Julia solving all of her financial problems in less than fifteen minutes. It’s about expressing connections, between people, between circumstances. In this way, City Boots has the likewise potential to achieve a strong emotional connection with its audience in a short amount of time.
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