Author(s): Sumner Burstyn
The children are brought up to respect nature, their horses and each other. Regardless of their lack of material wealth, they never lose sight of the magic in everyday tasks - collecting eggs, helping their dad to break in horses, or hunting and preparing food for their family. Untamed and unafraid, the idea of risk is alien to them. To see then seven-year-old Aurora expertly ride a massive stallion bareback with no more than a rope halter asks us to re-examine our ideas of what children are capable of. With its genesis in the multi award-winning 2009 documentary of the same name, we see where the Ottley-Karena family is now. Faced with a range of new challenges, they approach life with characteristic dignity and strength. But is their unique lifestyle one that is sustainable in the long term?
NZ Listener Winner 2012
Sumner Burstyn is an award-winning journalist who has built up a close relationship with the family over many years. Thomas Burstyn is an experienced cinematographer and photographer who has spent many days photographing the Ottley-Karena family and capturing their unique and inspiring lifestyle.