Hindsight is a child of hope. Try to live life well. Meanwhile, raise the kid with no way of knowing what it will grow up to be.
The film “Dark Horse” tells the true story about a racehorse that had no sensible expectation of becoming a racehorse, much less a winner. The dark horse running in this documentary is named “Dream Alliance.”
Spearheaded from idea to reality by a plain woman with a sparkle in her heart, a couple dozen people formed a syndicate. One of the members commented on the venture, “I have one word to say about it: stupid, crazy. I guess that’s two words.”
A proud yet modest tale, it works so well because it’s more about a community than it is about a horse. At a critical point in Dream Alliance’s life story, another partner to this working class silliness in some corner of Wales notes that Dream Alliance is a member of the community.
Every week for years, each of the human members lays out 10 pounds (about $15 at the time) to breed and nurture a horse for a sport historically greased by rich people and millions of dollars. A lower middle class stake in the game doesn’t buy much of a pedigree. It does result in a couple dozen owner’s badges -- same as the rich people wear.
The precious “child” had an endearing attitude, but according to the professionals, lacked speed. When it came to actual racing, however, Dream Alliance didn’t seem to understand that it lacked speed. Serious setbacks only heightened the life affirming charm of it all.
Director Louise Ormond splices low-key tension amongst archival footage and interviews with the dreamers and interview-like screen time with the four-legged star. Ormond employs some well-proportioned cinematic recreations using the actual people and places. It nicely enhances the local color.
Expect a bit of difficulty understanding the thick Welsh accents, but also expect to feel more closely attuned to the kind of hindsight we all hope to raise one way or another.