After exploring the American frontier in Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete, Charlie Plummer returns to the terrain with Luke Gilford’s directorial debut National Anthem. Premiering at last year’s SXSW, the film follows a construction worker who joins a community of queer rodeo performers searching for their own version of the American dream. While working on a ranch in the Southwest, they contend with the undeniable forces of nature, family and love. Also starring Eve Lindley and Mason Alexander Park, the first trailer has now arrived ahead of a June 12 release from Variance Films.

Jake Kring-Schreifels said in his review, “National Anthem is an offshoot of Gilford’s 2020 photographic series, which showcased the beauty of America’s Queer Rodeo by foregrounding softly lit and often-hidden subjects against expansive New Mexican vistas. At a time of political polarization and in a space typically reserved for a more traditional, patriarchal idea of a cowboy, Gilford’s portraits paint a subversive, tender depiction of bull riders and lasso twirlers co-opting an environment that has always felt exclusionary. As a remedy, their events cater to families, and while they maintain the same rigor and skill of standard rodeos, they promote a belonging and openness that gives someone like Dylan a chance to embrace all of his personhood.”

See the trailer below.

National Anthem opens on July 12.

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