Not a lot of depth but Kendrick's narration is good and film is slickly produced
This short film is one of a series made which document characters, groups etc in short episodes which appear to be mostly well shot and tightly focused to simply show rather than really explore. This is the case with the story of Kendrick, a young African-American man who is a keen "roper", which is a skill in the rodeos which involves lassoing a running target from horseback, quickly dismounting and tying up the target. As a story there are interesting elements in here but they are not really explored particularly well so much as mentioned or shown and left at that. So we mention the unusual nature of an African-American in a predominantly white activity (sport?) but don't really go beyond those statements, we look at the urban setting contrasting with the cowboy ideal but only show it.
Such things produce a weakness in the film if you look for too much, but in fairness it is a very short documentary so it is better to approach as a taster. As such Kendrick engages with a very warm accent and friendly manner; he talks very freely and naturally so, although the film doesn't explore or probe, what he is saying is pretty interesting anyway and the manner of his delivery is good. This is added to by the cinematography which makes the film look great throughout. The downside of this is that, similar to short female boxing documentary The Heat, it does have the air of a commercial of sorts, but this is less pronounced with The Roper, mainly due to the nature of Kendrick.
It doesn't have a lot of depth for sure, but the subject is interesting (ie Kendrick himself) and presents well to make for an engaging and very slickly produced documentary short.
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