An Exploration of a Little Known African-American Rodeo Subculture in Kahlil Joseph’s “Wildcat” Film
You might come to this video for a score by Flying Lotus, but will stay for Kahlil Joseph’s hypnotizing visual portrait of rodeo culture. The short film, entitled “Wildcat,” brings visitors to dusty Grayson, Oklahoma (population: 159), where a once pervasive American dream still lives on. The traditional vision of a cowboy seems very antiquated in this sleepy, predominantly black town, where the people of Grayson gather to watch these competitions. The contests are beautifully rugged, setting man against something ostensibly untamable, and watching these rodeos, the mind can’t help but wonder if the cowboys are after sport or something more heroic. Either way, Joseph beautifully frames this kind of gritty, dip-spitting recklessness that can only be found in the middle of America, and does well to capturing a sense of freedom — an essence that really makes one question their inner substance. Enjoy the video above.