A film by Juan Pablo Gonzalez
2018, 62 minutes
No. 215

In the Mexican village of Milpillas, deteriorating economic and social conditions have led to a wave of suicides among its young people. The extraordinary new documentary Cabellerango (horse wrangler), from filmmaker Juan Pablo González, examines one such case, relying on conversations with family members and townspeople to piece together the factors that led to this tragic incident, and in the process, reflect upon the changes occurring across much of the country.

The film starts in the stillness of dawn, the viewer looking into the eyes of a mysterious white horse. The quiet presentation of the village's daily life, from slaughtering cows to harvesting corn, forms the backdrop for the mystery that is the Gonzalez family's pain. Nando's sister continues her work de-feathering chickens and giving manicures, his father continues his lifelong horse wrangling, and the people of Milpillas continue their tradition of horse-racing. However, a series of conversations alludes to a deep, intangible sorrow. Through the evocative cinematography, pieces of this inexplicable tragedy are slowly placed side by side. The memory of Nando, and those who came before him, is preserved through the peaceful spirituality of reminisces of loved ones and the village's late night vigil. All we are left with is their memories, the landscape, and the pair of white horses to which Nando and his father tended, painting an eerily patient portrait of lingering suffering. 

A powerful documentary, Caballerango draws connections between the instability of the agricultural industry and a lack of financial stability with a growing a dependency on alcohol for many young people, leading to an increase in mental health issues..

Official Selection, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam
Official Selection, True/False Film Festival
Official Selection, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

 "Caballerango quietly tells the story of loss and change... the filmmakers effectively transplant the painful feelings of the Milpillas community into the hearts of the audience and spotlight the magnitude of their tragedy." - Vox