In a breathtaking Montana landscape, Troy (a dynamite Steve Zahn, who won the Best Actor prize at the Tribeca Film Festival) escapes to the Canadian border on horseback with his golden-haired, 11-year-old son Joe. How did these “cowboys” wind up here? Unfolding clue by clue through flashbacks, this moving, suspenseful feature from writer-director Anna Kerrigan skillfully tells the story of a contemporary family struggling with how best to raise a transgender child.
Joe’s anxious mother (Jillian Bell, Brittany Runs a Marathon) still calls her child “Josie,” insisting on dresses and banning cowboy boots unless they’re pink. Troy grasps their son’s identity, but his sensitive parenting is offset by a wildness that puts Joe’s life in danger. As for Joe (remarkable trans newcomer Sasha Knight), he just wants to live his truth: cutting his hair short, fishing in a country river, and being a real cowboy. Cowboys also stars the always wonderful Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale) as a dogged detective closing in on the fugitive duo as tension mounts toward an explosive climax.
— K.M. SOEHNLEIN
Buying Note: This digital screening is available to view between 12:01am Thursday, September 17 and 11:59pm Sunday, September 27. We suggest watching it at 6:30pm Sunday, September 20 followed by the Q&A.
Bay Area Video Coalition