MADRID – The first installment of the documentary series “Equus, Story of the Horse,” presented on Tuesday at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, illustrates the important role the animal played in the expansion of ancient civilizations.
Throughout time, the horse has been one of the main means of transport for humans, allowing nomadic people to travel and find new settlements.
The film, jointly produced by Kazakhstan and Canada, chronicles the animal’s relevance as a determining factor and ensure that its contribution to human development is not forgotten.
“Thanks to the horse, nomads spread and reached other territories,” one of the producers, Nurbol Baimukhanov, told EFE.
“When other means of transport appeared, we began to use them – horses – for sport or other purposes, but we must recognize that many of our ancestors come from the Central Asian steppe thanks to them,” he said.
The Kazakh producer has spent more than a month visiting European cities to present his project “The Great Steppe,” an initiative that includes not only the film but also scientific research to corroborate the connection between horses and humankind.
From Madrid, Baimukhanov and his team, which includes his teenage sons, is to continue its journey of more than 11,000km (6,835mi) through cities such as Geneva, Rome, Budapest, Berlin, Athens, Istanbul and Baku before reaching its final stop in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Kazakh Ambassador Konstantin Zhigalov described the film’s premiere, which is part of the Kazakh initiative “Ruhani Zhangyru,” as “an honor” because horses are also respected in Spain.
The diplomat highlighted that the two countries share several common cultural elements that help “strengthen relations.”
Tuesday’s screening featured the first chapter of the three-part series.
“The History of the Horseman” begins 5,000 years ago with the origins of the domestication of horses.
Canadian producer and anthropologist Niobe Thompson is the main on-screen presence, tracing equine evolution across the Eurasian steppe.
The project has backing from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, PBS in the United States, Germany’s ZDF, France’s ARTE and Denmark’s DR.