fbpx Biennale Cinema 2017 | Andrew Haigh - Lean on Pete
La Biennale di Venezia

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Andrew Haigh - Lean on Pete

Great Britain / 121’
language English
cast Charlie Plummer, Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny
from the novel Lean On Pete by Willy Vlautin
screenplay Andrew Haigh
cinematographer Magnus Joenck
editor Jonathan Alberts
production designer Ryan Warren Smith
costume designer Julie Carnahan
music James Edward Barker
sound Joakim Sundstrom


Lean On Pete follows fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson. He wants a home, food on the table and a high school he can attend for more than part of the year. As the son of a single father working in warehouses across the Pacific Northwest, stability is hard to find. Hoping for a new start they move to Portland, Oregon, where Charley takes a summer job, with a washed-up horse trainer, and befriends a failing racehorse named Lean on Pete.

Director’s Statement

Lean On Pete by Willy Vlautin is a wonderfully humane novel. It is a story of a kid that refuses to lose hope or heart despite the harsh realities of his world. I found it immensely moving, tender and yet never sentimental. I wanted the film to have the same sense of purity. I wanted the film to look at life on the margins of society with honesty and respect. There was a quote that Willy used at the start of his novel by John Steinbeck which reads: “It is true that we are weak and sick and ugly and quarrelsome but if that is all we ever were, we would millenniums ago have disappeared from the face of the earth”. I tried to keep that sentiment close to my heart throughout making of this film.

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Biennale Cinema
Biennale Cinema