A CINEMATIC LIBRARY
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One need not be versed in horsemanship to know the legend of Bucephalus, the wild stallion tamed by Alexander the Great as a boy, who saw its ferocity for what it truly was – fear of its own shadow. By turning its head to face the sun, Alexander tamed him. Their story belongs to the ages yet how many know Bucephalus belonged to a breed so intrinsic to the Greek island of Skyros that its DNA remains unique today among that of all other horse breeds? Or that only 90 Skyros Horses remain between that legacy and oblivion? Horsefly Films understands the implication of allowing the Skyros Horse to disappear, which is why OF GODS AND KINGS is the first in its Rare Equine Breed Series of half hour documentaries presenting thoroughly researched, historically accurate, visually compelling and eminently quotable films arguing in defense of saving the world’s endangered breeds. One cannot learn the story of the Skyros Horse without agreeing with Horsefly’s producers that history, and we as its curators, owe a debt to the horses of Hercules: “These horses, which should be celebrated as a Greek National Treasure, are an integral part of who we are and who we become. The debt to history remains.” It’s time we turn our faces, if not to the sun, than certainly to this film.
Inspiring and uplifting - one is left feeling bonded to the Skyrian horse - its history, its influence and its monumentally important impact - intimately and profoundly. The story of this incredible horse reminds us once again of the debt we as humans owe the horse - our success as a species is unequivocally a direct result of our inseparable association with equines. The increased awareness, worldwide recognition and responsible expansion of this mighty little horse is essential to continued success of all equine endeavours. Legend comes to life in the inspiring and informative story of the Skyrian horse, putting man’s relationship will all equines into powerful and poignant perspective...I too felt part of the Skyrian horse while watching this beautiful and important film. A call to action - the Skyrian horse now needs us to ensure its survival and success, more than just turn of events when taking into account the profound impact the Skyrian horse has had on human civilization throughout the millennia...
Horses on the island of Skyros, Greece. Photo: Jen Miller
Today, an alarming number of equine breeds face extinction. Many of these, such as the Skyros Horse, have made incalculable contributions to humanity. I applaud Horsefly Films for its efforts to increase public awareness of the plight of these noble creatures. As with past Horsefly projects, this is beautifully produced film that both educates and entertains.
This is a wonderful film which I truly enjoyed. I have studied the Skyros Pony for many years but have never seen them except in still pictures. They are even more impressive than I imagined and the film showed the uniqueness of the horses. The film was technically well done. The photography was striking. I especially liked the way the film linked the ancient to the modern both in images and stories. The script also made excellent use of science in addressing some of the problems facing the horses of Skyros. The issues related to conservation of rare breeds of domestic animals were right to the point both in the comments of the people on the screen and by the narrator. Not only did the film explain why many breeds become rare and threatened but it also covered ways that the threats can be mitigated. In all ways this film was excellent. I look forward to seeing future films in the planned series.
EXPLORING DIVERSE CULTURES, RARE EQUINE BREEDS & UNIQUE STORIES