April 2019 - Review: The Mustang movie


A visit to Return To Freedom sets the stage for moving movie about the horse-human bond.

article & photos by Kristin Lee

If you ever have been or get to go to a “press event,” you know it’s the adult version of a field trip! I was thrilled to attend just such an event for The Mustang movie, the new film that is getting rave reviews.


Our day started in the Universal lot where we bussed up to Santa Barbara for a pre-screening of the film. We spent the night and headed the next morning to Return to Freedom, Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc..

The Mustang carries a slower pace. If you’re expecting a movie with lots of action reset your brain before watching. The film tells the story of a violent convict who is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program involving the training of wild Mustangs. A handful of programs like this exist, most of them using BLM Mustangs.

With a very touching ending, I definitely recommend it! The filming was fantastic, doing justice to the connection between horse and human.

The next morning we visited Return to Freedom. This 1500-acre property is a safe haven for close to 400 horses (and 29 burros) and the headquarters for advocacy work on behalf of wild horses throughout the country, plus education on their situation and solutions for their future.

We were accommodated in the sanctuary’s event barn. Along with other members of the press and social influencers, we met some of their Mustangs in person. A few of the media individuals had never spent much or any time around horses, while others like myself have been around horses for years. We all connected with the Mustangs in the few hours there and feel an unforgettable bond with the Mustang.

Witness the lead character Matthias’ journey and go watch The Mustang, Kleenex may or may not be necessary. It’s no wonder it’s rated 100 by Rotten Tomatoes.

Author Kristin Lee is an accomplished photographer: www.kristinleephotography.com. For more information on the film, visit www.focusfeatures.com/the-mustang.