I've seen it a few times.
It's probably not great art. Polished, pretty, thoughtful, yes, but in the end, perhaps not a great film. But, still it moves me.
I guess it's the horse.
When the vet and her team find him in a tunnel, Pilgrim is full of fear and rage - traumatised by the accident which injured him and his rider.
Pilgrim isnt the same horse anymore.
The vet decides that the best thing for Pilgrim is to euthanase him - put him down - shoot him. He is too wounded - physically and emotionally, to live. His rage and torment make him impossible to manage. Can he ever return to being part of the human world - to his old life, knowing and understanding what he has been through?
In the middle of coming to terms with her daughter's life-changing injuries, Annie (her mother) can't or won't give permission for her daughter's horse to be killed.
And that's where I break up.
No matter how wounded, how broken and hurt we are, there is still hope.
There are many times where I have seen people in this position, this unmeasured and isolative state. Traumatised in childhood, or by life-changing events, we run wounded and frightened to a dark place.
Not many would choose to accompany us there - it's too hard, too painful, too unsettling, too reminiscent of our own panicked moments. Some might even think, like the wounded Pilgrim, that we are beyond help .....or hope.
Instead of shooting Pilgrim, Annie makes the remarkable decision to take her daughter and her horse to a healer. Its not an easy journey. She doesnt even know if the horse whisperer will work with Pilgrim. But still she has to try. She knows that otherwise she might lose her child.
Like Pilgrim and Grace, it is possible to find a way back.
That someone believes we can be saved, is sometimes enough for us to feel worth saving. But we need to make the decision ourselves. Yes, the world has treated us badly. Yes, it is unfair. Yes, we may feel persecuted and sometimes we may even feel that life isnt worth living.
But our wounds are a part of us; they make us who we are.
And that is worth celebrating.
For more about trauma, please see my earlier post: