April 20, 2018
In parts of America long ignored, a filmmaker found stories worth telling.
For many of us longing to reflect on our adolescent upbringing, we take to old photographs, home video footage, elementary school essays, and dusty journals. We’re desperate to connect who we became with who we were; a narrative throughline with indicative hints must exist, right? What would we tell our former selves? To follow our dreams? That things work out? To stress less? To work harder? What if we had no choice in the matter at all?
Daniel Patrick Carbone’s Phantom Cowboys, an elegiac documentary that quietly invokes those questions via three young men living in different parts of the United States, offers cumulative evidence rather than concrete answers. Life does the same.