"Buck" is a documentary film that has been widely critically lauded by critics as both a moving story and visual masterpiece. The subject of the film is known as the true horse whisperer, Buck Brannaman. The filmmaker documents through photos and interviews the life of Brannaman. They go over the details of his upbringing. He was a child performance artist who specialized in rope tricks that he would perform at various gatherings and rodeos. The story isn't all glamorous for Buck, he and his older brother sadly suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their father. Buck was sent an angel during this difficult time when his football coach noticed the signs of physical abuse. He saw bruises and welts on his leg and notified authorities, rescuing Buck from the fractured and abusive parental relationship. He was then taken into foster care and was welcomed as a member of the Shirley family. Their care and support saved Buck's future.
The story continues by following Buck's life into his adult years. He became an equine expert and studied how to communicate with horses with techniques that had been unheard of before. Having grown up as a victim of physical abuse, he transfers the negative results of that background to his horse training techniques. He teaches horse owners how to communicate with their animals through gentle leadership and sensitivity.
His training success transformed Buck's life to his current position as a travelling therapist and horse trainer. He spends at least 40 weeks of every year on the road performing horse training clinics. Robert Redford became aware of Bucks' training and utilized him as the equine trainer for his award winning film, "The Horse Whisperer".
The hazards of his travelling are that he spends large amounts of time away from his wife and children. Buck Brannamna and his family, including the Shirley's, appear in the film. Robert Redford appears as well telling the story of his working relationship with Buck.