Enraged by the sale of the jumping horse that she was promised to ride, Gracieuse, a highly talented equestrian, quits her job at the stable. She starts again from the beginning accepting work as a groom at a dressage stud farm adjacent to her father’s property. The owner, Joséphine de Silène, exploits with an iron grip the international reputation of a German trainer, Franz Mann. The former champion, now cynical and worn out, is still coveted by female riders the world over, for his knowledge as well as for his attention.
In this microcosm of power and money, no one is paying attention to Gracieuse, whose only assets are her talent, her fiercely stubborn character, and, most particularly, her determination to succeed. Restless, ready to stand up to Franz Mann and to face any obstacle, even if it means stepping outside the law, she pursues her sole obsession: to have a horse to call her own, and to take it to the top.
Cast & Crew
Director : Patrica Mazuy
Screenplay : Simon Reggiani
Starring : Marina Hands, Bruno Ganz, Josiane Balasko, Amanda Harlech
Schedule & Presentation
Presentation by and discussion with director Patricia Mazuy and actress Josiane Balasko
Saturday, March 23 – 12:30 p.m at the Byrd Theater ~ 1h41 ~ General Audience
Choose a picture to see the filmography (source : IMDB)
What are the origins of the film?
In 2004, Simon Reggiani proposed for us to make a equestrian movie named Sport de filles. The movie tells the story of a young woman whose social status prevents from becoming a champion horse trainer, but who fights to achieve this goal. The character Franz Mann is directly inspired by Patrick Le Rolland, a famous equestrian and horse trainer. During the seventies, he was one of the youngest rider at the Cadre Noir de Saumur, which is a group of elite French equestrians. Unfortunately, due to his rebellious spirit, he left Saumur in order to start a business with his wife, interpreted by actress Josiane Balasko in the film. He trains horses while she manages their Belgian estate and the sale of horses.
Sport de Filles very well describes the cruelty of the equestrian world, which is made of relationships based on domination and humiliation. . .
It is a very hierarchical environment where one will find old aristocratic families as well as nouveaux riches, such as the character played by Josiane Balasko. She exploits the talent of the totally submissive horse trainer Franz Mann. I really wanted an actress who had a refinement even in the mud of the riding ring. Actually, the model for her character is Cruella from 101 Dalmatians.