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Review: T-Galop: A Louisiana Horse Story

Ken Korman on an unusual screening at the New Orleans Fair Grounds



  Winner of the Louisiana Feature Film Prize at last year's New Orleans Film Festival, T-Galop: A Louisiana Horse Story surveys various horse-centered subcultures and practices in the rural southwest of the state. But it's hardly the kind of dry anthropological study you might expect from that description. T-Galop is impressionistic and loose-limbed, which may be one reason why it will receive a one-time screening Saturday at the most appropriate venue imaginable: outdoors at the Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots.

  T-Galop ranges from Louisiana Tournoi De La Ville Platte — a competitive sporting event in which mounted knights spear rings with lances — to the long-held traditions of Creole cowboys, making stops for Cajun Mardi Gras and the storied career of three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel. It lingers on colorful Louisianans just for the pleasure of getting to know them in their natural habitat. Though the film celebrates present-day horse culture, there's no small amount of nostalgia for the days of old, and an unspoken mission for director and Breaux Bridge native Conni Castille to document these subjects and their ways while she can. The film is an obvious labor of love for Castille, which makes it worthwhile — especially with a mint julep in hand. — KEN KORMAN

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