Film explores the fate of wild horses |

Film explores the fate of wild horses

April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
In "The American Wild Horse," filmmaker James Kleinert documents wild horses throughout the American West. The film screens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Missouri Heights Schoolhouse outside of Carbondale. (Courtesy Nancy J. Wilhelms)

MISSOURI HEIGHTS ” Filmmaker James Kleinert’s newest documentary, “The American Wild Horse,” gets to the heart of a controversial issue in the West.

The 30-minute film, screening at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Missouri Heights Schoolhouse outside of Carbondale, covers the controversy surrounding wild horses and their management. Former Bureau of Land Management employees, historians, wildlife managers, ranchers and land stewards offer their insights on the future of the horses.

“It’s a documentary that explores both sides of the issue,” said Nancy Wilhelms, of WestGroup Marketing Communications, the local firm promoting the film. “Some people really are for the wild horses, and some are against them. They want them off their land.”

The documentary ” not recommended for young children because of some graphic scenes ” mixes scenery and substance for an impactful statement on the issue, Wilhelms said. According to a press statement for the screening, more than 20,000 horses are being held in pens, rounded up by BLM staff. Some horses are adopted; others are sent to slaughter.

“There’s extremely beautiful footage, extremely moving footage,” Wilhelms said. “And some of the scenes are horrific. It examines what’s going on with wild horses.”

Kleinert’s latest Moving Cloud Productions film is a work-in-progress, Wilhelms added. Kleinert was unavailable for comment Tuesday, shooting additional footage of a wild-horse roundup in Colorado.

“It’s fairly close to finished. … James spent last week with (singer) Sheryl Crow, who has adopted a mustang,” Wilhelms said. “It’s a mix of a lot of interesting people and excellent points of view. And a lot of footage of wild horses in their natural settings.”

A suggested $10 donation at the door supports Kleinert’s mission of showing “The American Wild Horse” for the U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill in September. Several bills affecting the welfare and well-being of the American wild horse are coming up for vote.

To learn more about the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, visit