Oh, Yes, Let's Keep a Horse in the House

We watched a coming-of-age movie last night called "Concrete Cowboy." Kind of like "Nomadland" in its realistic origins, this film focuses on an impoverished neighborhood of black "cowboys" in Philadelphia.


The story has the usual themes about young black men being sucked into drug dealing, black boys being raised without fathers, and blacks being mistreated by white authorities, but I kept questioning why these very poor people, living in downright nasty surroundings of their own making, insisted on keeping horses—a sh!+-load of them—some even inside their disgustingly unkempt homes.


Two of the characters insisted that black cowboys are a part of Philly history and that horses have always been in Philly. Maybe so, but I couldn't condone the cowboys' environmental/economical mistreatment of their animals. Nor could I feel resentment toward the white (of course) animal control officers who attempted to ensure the horses were well cared for after receiving complaints.


The ending credits attempted to add credibility with comments by real Philly "cowboys" who appeared in the film, but again, their comments left me doubting. Good gosh, what if everybody wanted to keep horses inside their rented houses in a large metropolitan city? A freaking mess!


What I did enjoy, however, was the performance by Idris Elba, an actor with such on-screen elegance, I was mesmerized. He made the work worth watching. The film is well-directed and acted, but gets 2 stars on the Pat-Oh_Meter. Quirky but worth a watch for one or two performances and outside-the-box cultural interest.



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