As we’ve all been spending more time at home and movie theaters slowly open back up, Netflix and other streaming services are continuing to do well. The movie “Concrete Cowboy,” directed by Ricky Staub, was released on Netflix on April 2, 2021, and is a great film about a topic not so often talked about.
The film stars Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin, who we all know and love from “Stranger Things,” and is based on the novel “Ghetto Cowboy”by Gregory Neri. The film follows a young boy (Caleb McLaughlin) and his father (Idris Elba) as they fight to hold on to their culture in a developing city. Oftentimes, when we think of cowboys, black people aren’t a part of this narrative, but this story sheds light on how horses and being cowboys were a way of life for many black people living in cities like Philadelphia, Pa., Brooklyn, N.Y., and more. Urban riders throughout these cities cared for horses and created community and fellowship through this as well.
In an interview with USA Today, Elba says the film was “particularly moving” as he was “able to tell a story about a father and son, but also give a little amplification about some of this really happening where these small, tiny communities that historically own this land are now being moved out.” This Netflix original film was eye-opening and gives its audience a new perspective on what it means to be a cowboy. What I found most interesting was that real fletcher street riders were cast in this movie, which brought another level of authenticity to this film.
If you are interested in watching “Concrete Cowboy,” the film can be found on netlfix.com.