Horse News

Disappointment Valley, A Modern Day Western

Filmmaker James Kleinert

What: James Kleinert, international award-winning filmmaker, showcases his newest film, Disappointment Valley…A Modern Day Western at the upcoming Santa Barbara International Film Festival. This feature-length documentary examines the politics behind the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) controversial policies on public lands and questions the fate of America’s wild horses and burros, whose very existence is in jeopardy.

When: Monday, February 8th 4:45pm Metro 4, Theatre IV

Thursday, February 11th 6:30pm Victoria Hall

Where: Santa Barbara, CA

Who: The film includes interviews with Jim Baca, (former Director of the Bureau of Land Management under the Clinton Administration), Michael Blake, (Writer, Dances With Wolves and Wild Horse Advocate), Sheryl Crow, Viggo Mortensen, Daryl Hannah, scientific experts, animal rights activists and environmentalists as well as examines the effects of the 2004 legislation that cleared the way for the removal and slaughter of America’s wild horses

Why: The documentary is an inspiring reminder to take action to protect America’s wild horses and burros and to preserve our public lands

More: 20 minute Q & A after the screenings with Director James Kleinert and Dr. Elliot Katz (Founder, In Defense of Animals to participate in Q & A on Thursday, February 11th)

For tickets: Call 805-963-0023 before February 4th and arrive at theatre an hour before screening time. For further details visit:

For press inquiries please contact Weil Public Relations, 818-341-3646 / 818-378-8995,

Disappointment Valley documents the struggle of an animal that has long symbolized freedom, individualism and unbridled passion in America. Kleinert examines the origins and effects of the recent “Burns Bill” which gutted the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 and cleared the way for the removal and slaughter of wild horses in America. Greed and corruption take center stage, exposing deceit within the Department of the Interior.  The film also explores the current impacts on western public lands by oil, gas, mining and corporate cattle grazing. The once free-roaming horses now face euthanasia, or worse, being shipped to Mexico for brutal slaughter. “I hope this film will not only educate viewers about the disturbing, massive removal of our horses but inspire change to the future of these precious animals.”

With over ten years of filmmaking and six documentaries, James Kleinert continues to release film projects dealing with American Indian stories as well as environmental and action sports themes from his company, Moving Cloud Productions. His short film, Wild Horse Spirit, was part of the Emmy award winning show Natural Heroes which aired on PBS.  Kleinert’s driving force is to empower the human spirit, mind and body in a harmonious nature.

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12 replies »

  1. The interview with Jim Baca should be really interesting. He stepped down after a number of high ranking BLM officials were indicted for sending mustangs to slaughter for profit. Investigation of the BLM THEN showed that the “rot” went so deep that they did not dare to open the “can of worms.” I have heard that since Mr. Baca moved on, there hasn’t been a single Director of the BLM with the intestinal fortitude to address the problem, nor shall there be! I would love to see this or read his excerpt!


    • Then who will open this can of worms?? Obama seems to want to avoid it. Is this really left to us to make that happen? If we can save the horses without disrupting BLM will we settle for that? The waste of money and resources runs from horses to cattle to water, forests, wildlife and mining and beyond. Something is rotten in DC and needs to be cleaned up by the American people. mar


  2. There is definitely something rotten in the BLM and I for one would like to wipe the smirk off every BLM face when I see some of the videos of their spokespeople. I cannot believe that our senators and congressmen and women and the president are so blind and deaf that they cannot see and hear the complaints, the anguish and the loud voices that are shouting to them to save the american mustangs and take the BLM back and give it to the citizens of the US of America.


  3. I’ve seen the half hour documentary to this film. James exposes it all. Not only is the photography and footage outstanding and beautiful, the information that he exposes in the film is a real eye-opener. I promise no one will be disappointed with it. Hopefully, it’ll make its way to members of congress.


  4. I’d love to see this documentary come to Farmington, NM. Our public library has been pretty open to these types of presentations. Don’t know what their policy is about selling tickets. Might have to find another venue for that – maybe our Civic Center or the local college.

    The library hosted a slideshow and talk by Claude Steelman last year. His photographs were beautiful, and included lots featuring wild horses. A representative of the USFS/NMFS was also there. He spoke, and fielded questions on NM wild horse issues and policies. The questions were informed and to-the-point, the answers not so much.

    By the way, Claude adopted a young buckskin taken from the Jicarilla. He’s a little guy, and had been pretty badly beaten up by the more dominant horses. I’ve seen recent photos, and what a change! Claude has pix on his website, and they’re certainly worth a look. Shows what love and care can do.


    • I’ve already talked with one of our local theater owners, who is going to show this and we’ll hold a community discussion following. I encourage others to do the same in their towns and cities. This will be a great vehicle to spread the rest of the story, not the BLM version.


  5. I think Pagosa would be perfect for this or Durango, I know Fort Lewis College would host it. I will have to look into it.

    Our country has a process to use to bring about change and it is out of use and out of whack. It begins and ends with us. mar


  6. I see that Mr. Kleinert has done some work with American Indian stories. I’d be fascinated to know if he has done any interviewing or documentaries involving our Native Peoples and what their position is on the mustangs and burros or BLM/DOI for that matter.

    Slaughterhouse Sue and Doinkette have some email floating around that says the Native Americans are standing shoulder to shoulder with United Org of the Horse and it’s holy crusade to remove mustangs and slaughter with payout for all equines/burros in the US. I wonder how factual that position really is.

    Best wishes Mr. Kleinert.


    • I’d like to find some info on each tribe’s position. I may be wrong on this, but I’ve read two major councils support slaughter. I don’t know anything about majority/minority percentage of votes, just that the resolutions passed.

      I’ve read about some Native Americans “praying” for slaughter to be brought back to the U.S. so they can build plants on reservations. They mostly talk about “excess horses” destroying their cattle/sheep ranges, but there’s also money to be made.

      I don’t know what side the Dine (Navajo) are on, but their tribal government is so corrupt and lax on enforcement that any plants on their land (the largest reservation in the country) would be a travesty. Lots of tribe members are disgusted by their leaders’ actions, so please don’t think it’s just me talking.


      • Part of the problem with the tribes is that frequently, the “leadership” doesn’t poll or allow the members to vote. Also, there are multiple NA orgs, like National Congress of American Indians (I think that’s the right name…NCAI) that get their tribe representative(s) to these “confederation” org’s and again, do not poll/hold elections for leadership or issue positions on behalf of the tribes. Seems the NAs are having problems with democracy, per se. Some tribes are even split on leaders….pretty sad. However, not unlike what other minorities forced to play the white man’s game have to go through. Plus, frankly because I’m white I am very disillusioned with my “democratic” government. What I’m trying to say is that no matter your skin color or sex…there are no guarantees of representation or justice. Look at that mess in DC! Anybody pleased???? I’m not…the only color politicians see is green. So maybe we have acheived some form of equality in the US…people with the green, shaft the people without it.


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