Paul Wagner’s Thoroughbred screens on PBS tonight

Guest post by Sam Taggart.

Local Academy Award-winning filmmaker and UVA professor Paul Wagner‘s Thoroughbred airs at 9pm on PBS tonight. The documentary takes viewers all the way from the breeding shed to the winner’s circle at the Kentucky Derby, providing a complete behind-scenes-look at big-time horseracing.

While the visual landscape is of scenic Kentucky fields and tracks, the figurative landscape of this film is a world built on tradition, drama and a ridiculous amount of money. In an interview with the New York Times, Wagner said that even though the film was made during tough economic times, “the money spent on the animal is unbelievable,” citing bets of millions of dollars on horses who had never even raced before. This process of finding out why someone would be possessed to spend so much money and time on a horse became one of the film’s central questions.

Thoroughbred screened at the Paramount about a month ago, but this screening is fittingly just days before the Kentucky Derby.

Thoroughbred screens at 9pm tonight on PBS.

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