Friday Night EXTRAVAGANZA!!!! Movie week continues with a walk through film history on wild horses!
In 1961 a fim was made from a screenplay written by Arthur Miller for his then wife, Marilyn Monroe. It can be argued that “The Misfits” is as valid a statement today as it was in 1961.
The film was made two years after the “Wild Horse Annie Act” of 1959. With the help of Representative Watler Baring, Velma Johnston achieved the first law to protect wild horses being captured, killed, poisoned and sold for fertilizer and chicken feed. The Act was Nevada State Legislation that “… prohibited the use of any form of motorized vehicles as well as the poisoning of water holes done either to capture or kill wild horses. It is known as the Wild Horse Annie Act (P.L. 86-234).”
By the mid-1960s it became apparent that P.L. 86-234 was not protecting wild horses. Velma became determined to stop her beloved horses from going to slaughter and was a key (it is argued “the key”) to creating documentation of what was happening through vigorous efforts and gaining support in the public and in DC to gain Federal protection.
In 1971 The Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed and the Federal government took jurisdiction to protect wild horses and burros.
The public spoke out! The Act passed unanimously in both Houses of Congress!
Below is a promotional piece narrated by Orson Wells for Marlboro cigarettes.
The fight to protect wild horses and burros is as necessary as it was in the 1950’s. The intent of the Act, to manage as a wild species on public land, has gotten lost as profiteers scour our public land and grab America’s resources. Special interests that reap private profit are given priority over the icon of the American soul.
Video made in 2011 to honor the Anniversary of the passage of the Act by photojournalist, Plaintiff in many legal actions, advocate, Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education.
Many films available to raise awareness!
Today there are many films that have been made (and many in the works) that you can share to help raise awareness! A few listed here:
The Vanishing Herds is a student-produced documentary by five Ithaca College students: Brad Kolodner, Amelia Cragle, Aya Hoffman, Taylor Conti, and Kelsey Vachon. The crew spent the entire semester in the fall of 2010 working on this project.
Even one on french.
NOTE FROM LAURA LEIGH
I came into this with a media background. I came to tell the story of the wild horse. But in the process found it was not enough. What I witnessed changed me like metal in a hot forge. My work has expanded and now includes advocating through any means possible for wild horses and burros including in Federal court. But my main objective has not changed much, I am still trying to tell the story of the wild horse and burro but my soul aches for a good end to the tale…. and we must do all we can to protect this amazing being that truly represents our American soul before it is gone. We owe it to them and to ourselves.
One of Leigh’s early film projects
VERY recent one on an active Court case (along with two others) currently carried by Leigh and Wild Horse Education.
We fight on!